ESPN is once again in the hot seat, but this time it is about a host’s politically-charged tweets. Jemele Hill is under fire and facing both criticism and support after tweeting about Donald Trump and white supremacy. While Hill is taking the brunt of the backlash, ESPN is walking the tightrope of racism, sports and politics, and the network is deciding when boundaries have been pushed.
Jemele Hill is a sports journalist, currently serving as an anchor on ESPN’s SportsCenter. On Monday, September 11, Hill tweeted, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”
Hill went on to say, “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period,” and that “[Trump] is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
The tweets have yet to be deleted from her Twitter account.
How Did ESPN Respond?
After some public outcry on the part of conservatives and Trump supporters, ESPN responded.
“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN,” ESPN said in the statement. “We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.
As to Hill’s punishment, an ESPN spokesperson told TheWrap that they are “not discussing discipline publicly in this instance.”
How Did The Public Respond?
The public is largely divided about whether or not ESPN disciplined Hill appropriately or whether her comments warranted discipline at all. Some feel that her Tweets were unjustifiable and uncalled for. Many have said that to call the president a White supremacist is to cross the line and the subsequent punishment should mirror this, but ESPN is just giving Hill a slap on the wrist.
While others, including Kathy Griffin, who was in hot water earlier this year for her own comments/statement about Trump, agree with Hill. They feel that Hill spoke nothing but the truth and she shouldn’t get disciplined for just speaking her mind.
While the true disciplinary action taken against Hill is unclear, Hill seems to be unbothered by the whole situation and she even pinned a tweet from 2016 of herself with the Obamas. She is sticking to what she said and it looks as if she will see things through to the end.