Sports Journalist Jarret Bell Becomes First Black Man To Win Bill Nunn Jr. Writer’s Award

by Duke Magazine

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) has chosen Jarrett Bell, a sportswriter, and columnist for USA Today, to receive the 2022 Bill Nunn Jr. Award for making a long and important contribution to pro football through his writing.


Bell has been writing about the NFL since 1981 and has worked for USA Today since 1993. He is the 54th person to receive the honor and the first Black journalist to do so, according to a statement from PFWA.


He will get his prize in August.


The award is named after Bill Nunn Jr., a well-known sports writer, and editor who worked for 22 years at the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the most influential Black publications in the United States. He started writing about HBCU events and athletes for the Courier in 1948. In 1950, he put together the Black College All-America team for the paper.


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Two years later, Nunn became the sports editor of the Courier. In 1966, the Pittsburgh Steelers hired him as a part-time scout while he was still the managing editor of the Courier. He was made assistant director of player personnel for the Steelers in 1970 and stayed with the team until he died in 2014.


Nunn was the first person to get into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2021, he was named a contributor to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


On his way, Bell keeps making his name and contributions to pro football and journalism stronger.


Bell got his start in sports at Olympia Stadium when he was a teenager. He was born in Detroit. Since then, he has worked as an editor and writer for newspapers and magazines like The Dallas Cowboys Weekly and The Dallas Times Herald.


USA Today says that Bell has been on the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, which includes the committee for people who have helped the hall, since 1997. He was even involved in choosing the NFL 100 All-Time Team. The NFL columnist has also covered five Super Bowls as the PFWA’s designated pool reporter.


Bell worked for ESPN as an NFL contributor from 2013 to 2017, mostly as a panelist on NFL Insiders.


The Pro Football Writers of America have given Bell several writing awards, including the Dick Connor Writing Awards. In 2020, the Associated Press Sports Editors gave him the first-place award.

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