When Mr. Merida began at The Undefeated, it was a stalled digital project with an sad workers — a would-be publication that, even after an almost two-year growth interval, existed solely as an online web page with hyperlinks to 19 articles.
He bought The Undefeated up and working, shortly establishing its editorial identification. The web site’s relevance grew as outstanding Black athletes embraced activism amid the rise of the social justice motion after the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.
In his first editor’s letter at The Undefeated, Mr. Merida held up the instance of his father, Jesse Merida, as somebody who refused to be defeated by pervasive racism and the restricted alternatives that went with it.
His father, he wrote, had gotten a level in geology at what’s now Wichita State University and didn’t hearken to those that suggested him to enter instructing fairly than making an attempt for a career within the extra closed-off world of science. He ended up “earning his living as a janitor at one point while waiting for his opportunity,” Mr. Merida wrote, and was lastly employed as a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, a job that led to an extended career, amongst largely white researchers, with the Smithsonian Institution.
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May 3, 2021, 11:36 a.m. ET
At the Disney-owned ESPN, Mr. Merida turned a detailed adviser to Jimmy Pitaro, the community’s chairman, and served because the chair of ESPN’s editorial board. He additionally performed integral roles in its newsroom, serving to oversee its investigative protection and the tv reveals “E:60” and “Outside the Lines,” whereas additionally managing its requirements group.
Mr. Merida, who was born in Wichita, Kan., grew up within the Washington space, the place he nonetheless lives. He is married to the writer Donna Britt, who has labored as a reporter and columnist at 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 at The Dallas Morning News, he joined The Post in 1993 as a congressional reporter.