One of ESPN’s most popular analysts, Jemele Hill, is under fire for calling President Trump a “white supremacist’ in a Twitter rant.
The liberal sports network had threatened to punish Hill for those comments, but a mutiny amongst her colleagues prevented ESPN from doing so.
And one liberal celebrity warns that they will be met with “wrath” should ESPN decide to punish Hill anyways.
“Jemele Hill has made herself the eye of a political storm, since sending out a tweet last week in which she called President Trump a “white supremacist.”
At first, the backlash was limited to Twitter, talk shows, and ESPN viewers on social media.
Then, things got ratcheted-up quite a bit last Wednesday when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, called Hill’s comments “outrageous.” In addition to claiming that Hill’s tweets represented a “fireable” event for ESPN.
ESPN President John Skipper responded to the strong, public statement from the White House by reminding his staff that they’re supposed to be sports journalists, not political activists:
I want to remind everyone about fundamental principles at ESPN. ESPN is about sports. Last year, we broadcast over 16,000 sports events. We show highlights and report scores and tell stories and break down plays.
And we talk about sports all day every day. Of course, sports is intertwined with society and culture, so “sticking to sports” is not so simple.
When athletes engage on issues or when protests happen in games, we cover, report and comment on that. We are, among other things, the largest, most accomplished and highly resourced sports news organization. We take great pride in our news organization.
We have programs on which we discuss and even debate sports, as well as the issues that intersect with sports. Fans themselves love to debate and discuss sports.
ESPN is not a political organization. Where sports and politics intersect, no one is told what view they must express.”
Sure, but the question is whether or not they will punish Hill.
ThinkProgress.com had an exclusive report that Hill’s ESPN colleagues would refuse to go on-air if they punished her in any way.
So far, nothing has happened.
But what happens if ESPN’s subscriptions and ratings begin to decline even more due to Hill’s racist accusation?
Would they punish her then and send a message to save face?
Al Sharpton believes ESPN will be met with wrath if they do.
“However, Hill has had her supporters as well. On Friday, Al Sharpton joined an MSNBC panel to discuss the issue of Hill’s tweets, and the various reactions to them.
After mocking and shaming President Trump’s tweet attacking ESPN, and warning of its impending demise. Al Sharpton had a word of warning for ESPN as well, should they decide to punish Hill too harshly.
Sharpton said, “The thing that is dangerous about this, I think that people are missing, which is why many of us in the civil rights community are saying that if ESPN does this they are going to face the wrath of a lot of us.”
Sharpton invoked the civil rights issue, to assert that if ESPN fired Hill for her tweets, the network would be robbing her of her right to freedom of expression.
Of course, no one at ESPN has so much as broached the issue of firing Hill. John skipper said in his statement that the matter of Hill’s discipline would get handled as a “private matter.”
Private matter can mean any number of things, however, it seldom, if ever, means fired.
Now, if Jemele Hill had dared to go on Facebook and point out that a men’s room was made for a biological man, and a women’s room was made for a biological woman. Well, that would be an entirely different story.”
Except, it’s not a private matter. She openly spewed her vitriol against the President on social media for all to see.
She should be fired.