ESPN is expected to lift Sportscenter co-host Jemele Hill’s two-week suspension Monday, October 23. And while there has been much speculation about what went on behind the scenes and if Hill would leave the marquee sports network after her second suspension in a month for political remarks on Twitter, we haven’t heard much directly from Hill. Aside from a few re-tweets and a cameo appearance on Cari Champion’s Instagram Stories feed, Hill’s Twitter has been relegated to a few re-tweets since October 10.
“I deserved that suspension,” Hill told TMZ during an impromptu airport interview. “I violated the policy. Going forward, we’ll be in a good, healthy place. It’ll be fine. The only thing I 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, and that’s the truth of it. I regret the position I put them in. I regret the position I put a lot of the people I work with and our show in. I’ll never take back what I said.”
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
Hill drew her initial suspension for calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist and a bigot via Twitter on September 11. The suspension led to Trump calling for her to be fired, and Hill’s supporters essentially asking, “Where is the lie?”
This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ's statement, boycott his advertisers. https://t.co/LFXJ9YQe74— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
Weeks later on October 8, Hill tweeted that those offended by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ threat to bench players kneeling during the national anthem should boycott his advertisers. Shortly afterward, ESPN hit Hill with the two-week suspension.
The suspensions come amid conservatives claiming the network leans liberal. ESPN has struggled with handling the perception, notably removing play-by-play announcer Robert Lee from a Virginia vs. William & Mary game in August because he shares the same name as the infamously defeated Civil War General.
Read the full story, which also includes Hill's thoughts on athlete activism, at TMZ.