ESPN’s Jemele Hill, best known for calling President Trump a “white supremacist,” being the first ESPN anchor to have her firing called for during a White House press conference, and, trying to instruct Twitter followers on the finer points of corporate anthem boycotts; will no longer host SportsCenter.
Instead, Hill’s duties will now be focused on writing for ESPN’s “The Undefeated.” As site which examines sports through the a racial, and cultural lens.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports:
Multiple sources confirmed that Hill asked management for the switch. She is expected to depart SC6in February.
In February, ESPN relaunched SportsCenter as SC6 with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith as its new anchors. In September, Hill notably became a subject of national conversation following a string of tweets in response to comments about President Donald Trump, including one where she called the President “a white supremacist.” A White House spokeswoman called for Hill to be fired and Trump also responded to Hill on Twitter. ESPN released a statement saying Hill’s comments “do not represent the position of ESPN,” and later, the network suspended Hill for two weeks for violating its social media policy.
The idea that Hill asked to be taken off television and relegated to one of ESPN’s niche backwater sites, is, to put it mildly, difficult to believe. However, assuming it’s true, the only way Hill likely would have asked for such an obvious career demotion, is if she had been told her show was on the way out.
As The Big Lead notes, ratings for SC6 never took off the way ESPN was hoping they would. In addition, Hill’s run-ins with the president, among her other forays into politics, brought with it a tremendous amount of negative attention at a time when ESPN, ostensibly, is trying to get out of politics.
For example, Hill tweeted this just yesterday, after the announcement of the new XFL:
“no social or political issues,” but players must stand for the national anthem
So that means Not one charitable campaign, right? Since most of those fall under the category of social issues. https://t.co/jL7G0D9Pkb
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 26, 2018
Hill has already been suspended once for organizing a politically motivated corporate boycott, and, called Trump a “white supremacist.” Yet, here she is calling the national anthem a “social or political issue.” Which shows, not just her gross partisan activism, but the fact that she simply is incapable of keeping quiet when it comes to political issues.
In many ways, Hill is a vestige of previous ESPN President Jon Skipper. An era that was marked by rewarding talent for their loud and proud leftist behavior. Now that Skipper is gone, Hill being gone, is likely a sign that Hill is part of a bygone era at ESPN.