Trotter wins PFWA 2023 Bill Nunn Jr. Award

Jim Trotter joins Brother from Another to discuss what it means to him to have won the Pro Football Writers of America Bill Nunn Jr. Award and gives credit to the journalists before him who served as inspiration.

Video Transcript


- Sometimes, you see headlines and they don't surprise you at all. This is one of those examples. When I see that our brother, Rita, Jim Trotter, is the winner of the Bill Nunn Jr. Award for his long, very long, and very distinguished journalism career, Jim Trotter will be recognized in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So what's up, award winner? And give us-- we like the story. So how did you find out? Where were you? What were your thoughts? Give us all that inside information.

JIM TROTTER: No, well, a few weeks ago, I had been notified I was a finalist. And so I knew there was a vote coming at some point. But I was actually in Chicago for a college football summit with The Athletic. And I received a call late in the night. I think it was Tuesday night from Calvin Watkins, the president of PFWA, as well as some other folks that I have great respect for. And they told me that I had won this award.

And truthfully, Michael, the first thought, you're humbled by it, and you're honored, and-- but part of my thoughts were on the people who were responsible for this who will never know they were responsible for this. And by that, I mean, guys like Ralph Wiley and Bryan Burwell, Bill Rhoden, [? Jerry ?] [? Bell, ?] who won the award last year.

All these guys that sort of set the table for me and other young Black journalists, sportswriters who were coming up. If not for Ralph Wiley, I'm not in this business. Reading him back in the day and seeing him be unapologetically Black in terms of his coverage, and how he spoke on things. So I can never be a Ralph Wiley. But in many ways, that's who I tried to model myself after in terms of how I approach this job, and what I do. And hopefully, from up above, he's looking down, saying, you did OK.

REETA HUBBARD: I think he thinks that you did a fantastic job. And I just want to say, for me, a person that was trying to do media 15, 16 years ago, I very much followed your career. And so you-- what you did had a lot of aspirations for me. And it had a reflection on what it is that I wanted to do.

So I really feel like that this is such a deserving award for you because I was one of the people that followed your career and just was like, this is what journalism should be about and sports journalism. So congratulations.

JIM TROTTER: Reeta, that means so much. And I mean this sincerely. You know this, Michael. When you're in it, you're in it. And so you're not really thinking about all these other things, or who you might be impacting. You're simply trying-- I speak for myself. Every day, I just didn't want to embarrass myself, or embarrass those people who helped me get to this point. So you're not thinking about all those other things.

And so for the last two days now, to hear people reach out, and talk about just me doing my job, what it has meant to them, I mean, it's-- when I say it's humbling, I mean, it's humbling. Because you just don't know that you reach or touch that many people. So I thank you, and I thank everyone else who's reached out. It truly means a lot.