Jon Wilkin has been nominated for this year’s SJA British Journalism Award of Pundit of the Year.
He is nominated alongside the likes of Roy Keane and Ian Wright.
Unfortunately, Wilkin was unable to respond to Jenna Brooks congratulations of this on Sky Sports and instead took a joking swipe at her fashion sense, in a typical example of Wilkin’s honesty.
Recently, Wilkin explained his approach to punditry on Talksport:
I’d made a decision that if I went into it, I was going to speak my mind. I wasn’t going to buy into the politics and the narrative that I’m told what I should say, if they want me this is what I think.
“I think in society in general we need to be confident to put all the opinions out there and not squash all the opinions all the time. For me coming into the sport I wanted to be honest and say what I think.”
When asked about ‘ruffling feathers’, he said: “Yeah but that’s the inevitability of speaking your mind. I don’t think you can speak your mind exactly how you think and not upset somebody. My job is not to keep people happy, my job is entertainment. I’m in TV, my job is to entertain.
“This is the thing though, I’m not doing it for that purpose to be shocking. I’m just being honest, and as honest as I can.
“I think rugby league has been soft in journalistic terms, it’s too nice, it’s a small group of people who all pat each other on the back and I just wanted to be different. Why not? Look at some of the football punditry at the minute and I like it.”
Someone who is always quick to share his opinion now, he also spoke about what it was like for a player to hear a pundit’s opinion of them:
“If a pundit said something about me then you rarely read it or watched it. Your family get upset. I always remember my mum and dad, ‘oh somebody said this’. Just leave it was my response.
“I hate social media, I hate this trolling of people online. I know it’s part of life now but I think my parents felt it more than me.
“I never got too upset, the thing when you are a sportsman is that nobody can ever say something to you that’s harsher than what you’ve said to yourself.
“If I had a shocker and someone calls me out, well if I had any professional integrity then I’d be so upset and filthy on myself. You can never say what I say to myself after a bad performance.”