Just one month after rumblings subsided from calling out Donald Trump as a white supremacist on Twitter, ESPN just handed down major disciplinary action by suspending “SportsCenter” host Jemele Hill for two weeks.
In a written statement, ESPN said the decision was made because Hill violated the social media policy in a second incident:
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” the network said in a statement Monday afternoon. “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 this decision.”
Although the statement did not refer to a specific post, many speculate that the suspension was handed down after Hill tweeted in response to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ mandate that any player on his team who kneels during the National Anthem will not be allowed to play.
Hill fired off a series of tweets regarding the issue on Sunday.
Hill went on to say Jones’ mandate puts players of color into an uncomfortable situations, having to choose between their love for the sport and speaking out against the racial inequality many of them still experience regardless of how much money they make.
While she did not advocate for a NFL boycott, she did argue that boycotting the team’s sponsors is also an effective means of protest. “If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players,” Hill tweeted.
In the aftermath of last month’s tweets on Trump, the “SportsCenter” host received equal backlash and support. Many celebrities including Colin Kaepernick, Gabrielle Union and Reggie Miller came to her defense. Hill’s co-host, Michael Smith, also tweeted that he stood by her comments.
But Donald Trump and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders publicly called for Hill’s dismissal. Hill later offered an apology for using social media to relay her personal beliefs, but also made it clear that she stood by the comments expressed in her tweets.