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ESPN Anchor ‘Let Her Company Down’ With Political Statements

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — ESPN suspended anchor Jemele Hill on Monday for two weeks for making political statements on social media.

jemele hill ESPN Anchor Let Her Company Down With Political Statements

(credit: Jemele Hill’s Twitter page)

Hill, an African-American co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of “SportsCenter,” received backlash last month after referring to President Donald Trump as a “white supremacist” in a series of tweets that referenced the president’s comments about a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump later suggested that NFL players be fired for not standing during the national anthem.

In tweets on Sunday, Hill targeted Jerry Jones after the Dallas Cowboys owner stated that players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team.

Hill suggested on Twitter that fans who disagree with Jones should boycott the team’s advertisers and not buy the team’s merchandise.

“Cowboys have a huge national following,” she wrote in one of a series of tweets. “Lot of black & brown folks are Cowboys fans. What if they turned their backs on them?”

She clarified Monday she was not calling for an NFL boycott.

gettyimages 695315840 ESPN Anchor Let Her Company Down With Political Statements

OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 12: Michael Smith and Jemele Hill chats on Sportscenter with Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups on the game of the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)

ESPN said in a statement Monday that Hill had acknowledged “letting her colleagues and company down” with the Trump 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 this decision,” the statement said.

Hill had called the president “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” She wrote that he was “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.”

She called him a bigot and said it was the height of white privilege to ignore his white supremacy because it wasn’t a threat.

“Well, it’s a threat to me,” she typed.

Hill did not immediately reply to a request for comment on her suspension.

Before she was suspended, Hill responded Sunday to a Twitter follower who suggested that NFL players would learn a lesson about “getting fired for not doing what your boss requires you to do.”

“Because if we did everything the boss said, Americans would still be dying of tuberculosis in factories,” she replied.

 

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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