New York Times sportswriter William Rhoden said farewell to the newspaper in his Monday column. The previously unannounced news brought little reaction; a Google search found no other media reports.
Rhoden said his decision to leave was made last week, with no reasons given other than his desire to move on. In a curious comparison, Rhoden cited football great Jim Brown's retirement from the Cleveland Browns at the age of 29 as his model.
While I've regularly read Rhoden for years, I hardly see him as the Jim Brown of sportswriters. His writing was often awkward, and his point of view predictable.
His chronicling of the exploitation of black athletes, even those making millions, gave a perspective often lacking in mainstream sports media. One of my all time favorite Times pieces was his column during the Barcelona Olympics about his search for the site where American black boxer Jack Johnson won the heavyweight championship.
Rhoden's farewell leaves the Times with one black columnist, op-ed political writer Charles Blow. The sportswriter's last column follows new public editor Liz Spayd's ominous Sunday piece claiming that the newspaper must take steps to change perceptions of a liberal bias.