When Mr. Merida started The Undefeated, it was a broken digital project with disgruntled staff – a potential post that, even after a nearly two-year development period, only existed as a webpage with links to 19 articles.
He launched The Undefeated, quickly establishing his editorial identity. The site’s relevance grew as prominent black athletes embraced activism amid the rise of the social justice movement after the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.
In his first letter from the editor to The Undefeated, Mr. Merida set the example of his father, Jesse Merida, as someone who refused to be overcome by pervasive racism and the limited opportunities that came with it. .
His father, he wrote, had graduated in geology from present-day Wichita State University and was not listening to those who advised him to take up teaching rather than try a career in the more world. closed from science. He ended up “making a living as a janitor at one point while waiting for his chance,” wrote Mr. Merida, and was eventually hired as a technician at the US Geological Survey, a job that led to a long career, among whites for the most part researchers, with the Smithsonian Institution.
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At Disney-owned ESPN, Mr. Merida became a close advisor to Jimmy Pitaro, the president of the network, and served as chair of the ESPN editorial board. He has also been instrumental in his newsroom, helping to oversee his investigative coverage and the “E: 60” and “Outside the Lines” television shows, while managing his standards team.
Mr. Merida, who was born in Wichita, Kan., Grew up in the Washington area, where he still lives. He is married to author Donna Britt, who has worked as a reporter and columnist for the Washington Post, USA Today and the Detroit Free Press.
He studied journalism at Boston University and began his career as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal. After a decade with the Dallas Morning News, he joined The Post in 1993 as a congressional reporter.