Jemele Hill returned to Twitter Monday and announced her return to ESPN after her two-week suspension for a second violation of ESPN’s social media guidelines.
ESPN suspended Hill after the SportsCenter anchor tweeted that those upset with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should take issue with advertisers, not players.
“Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers,” she tweeted Oct. 8.
The tweet was in response to Jones telling reporters that day that players who were “disrespectful to the flag” would not play. That is, players who kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the game.
She later clarified her previous tweets, saying, “I’m not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.”
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said in an Oct. 9 statement. “She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence the decision.”
Hill’s SC6 co-anchor, Michael Smith, stepped away from the show the first day Hill’s suspension in solidarity and anchored alone until her return.
Hill told TMZ Sports in a video posted Saturday that she regretted putting her company and co-workers in a tough spot and that she wasn’t upset about the suspension. In fact, she said she deserved it.
“Here’s the reality, ESPN acted what they felt was right, and I don't have any argument or quibble with that,” Hill said. “I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy. I deserved that suspension.”
But Hill isn’t saying she regrets what she said about President Donald Trump. In those tweets, posted Sept. 11, she referred to him a white supremacist.
“I put ESPN in a bad spot,” she said. “I’ll never take back what I said.”
Hill will return to SportsCenter on ESPN2 Monday at 6 p.m.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.