It has been a tumultuous month for ESPN host Jemele Hill, who hasn’t been able to stick to the company policy of keeping political commentary out of her analysis throughout Trump’s skirmishes with the NFL over players kneeling for the National Anthem.
Hill is in the headlines the weekend before she is set to return to ESPN’s Los Angeles set, saying in an impromptu interview with TMZ that she believes she deserved to be suspended.
“ESPN acted what they felt was right. I don’t have any argument,” Hill told TMZ Sports. “After my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved a suspension.”
She said, “I violated the policy. Going forward we’ll be in a good, healthy place.”
Hill garnered the ire of her bosses when she bashed Trump on Twitter on Sept. 11, calling him a “white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists. She continued her rant by saying Trump was “the most ignorant, offensive president of [her] lifetime,” a “bigot” and “unqualified and unfit to be president.”
She added, “If he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
That conduct got her a warning, and when she continued her controversial comments on the social media site on Oct. 8 by tweeting that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “created a problem for his players, especially the black ones” in his statement on kneeling for the National Anthem, the company went ahead and suspended her for two weeks.
“If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts,” Hill said.
“By drawing a line in the sand, Jerry put his players under more scrutiny and threw them under the bus… If the rationale behind JJ’s stance is keeping the fan base happy, make him see that he is underestimated how all of his fan base feels,” Hill wrote on Twitter, adding that “paying customers” should “boycott” Jones’ advertisers.
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how much individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such action would have consequences. Hence this decision,” a network spokesman said in a statement.
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