Jemele Hill: ‘I Deserved That Suspension’ – Sports Illustrated
Jemele Hill’s political opinions have kept her in the news recently, as she first made headlines by calling Donald Trump a white supremacist before drawing a two-week suspension for suggesting a boycott of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ advertisers.
ESPN said the suspension was for a second violation of the network’s social media guidelines, and there were strong reactions to it on both sides. Some thought ESPN was wrong for censoring the personal opinions of its employees, while others chided Hill for what they felt were aggressive comments. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders weighed in on the controversy, calling Hill’s comment a “fireable offense.”
Hill herself weighed in on the suspension in an impromptu interview with TMZ Sports, saying she deserved the suspension for putting her employer in a tough spot, but refused to take back her comments.
“So, here’s how this works: It doesn’t really matter what I think,” Hill said after being asked if she feels she was treated fairly. “It matters to people, but here’s the reality: ESPN acted what they felt was right, and, you know, I don’t have any argument or quibble with that. 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.
The only thing I’ll ever apologize for is, I put ESPN in a bad spot. I’ll never take back what I said. I put them in a bad spot, that’s the truth of it. I regret the position I put them in. I regret, a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I’ll never take back what I said.”
It’s clear that Hill, who said she will return to ESPN on Monday, doesn’t feel bad about what she said, but she understands the expectations that come with her role as an anchor.