Lockhart served as Bill Clinton’s White House Press Secretary from 1998-2000 and had held the NFL job for two years. His final season was a tempest of stormy political waters, from the league’s national anthem protests to high-profile rifts like the one between commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
When President Donald Trump criticized the league over player protests in September, Lockhart zinged him back, saying, “this is what real locker room talk” looks like.
His departure comes at an interesting time for the NFL, as the line between football and politics has all been erased. He clearly had the experience and desire to engage on these issues, but it’s worth wondering if league brass would prefer someone less directly involved.