Jemele Hill‘s tumultuous and inspirational run as co-host of ESPN’s groundbreaking show SC6 – the first ESPN show hosted by African-Americans at a prime 6pm time slot and geared towards a once ignored sector of ESPN’s audience. – has come to an end.
On Friday, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported that Hill is leaving the show — which has been rebranded as SC6 — to join the staff of the Undefeated, ESPN’s sub-site that examines sports, race and culture.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 26, 2018
I have a few things to say … pic.twitter.com/tqEBXLajtp
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 26, 2018
Hill has long been criticized by a certain segment of viewers for being either too “political” or too “liberal” on air and on social media. In September, she drew rebuke from the White House after calling Donald Trump a white supremacist, and weeks later ESPN suspended her when she wondered aloud on Twitter whether fans should boycott Cowboys sponsors over owner Jerry Jones’ position on player protests.
On The Undefeated, Hill will likely have a longer leash to discuss the intersection between sports and social issues, which is an obvious interest of hers. She has written several pieces for the site over the past six months, about subjects including black women’s roles in the 1967 Detroit riots, Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell, disagreements between activist athletes and the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Most recently, she published a Q&A with Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore.
Hill who is a multifaceted reporter, one of the most talented in the industry, who wants to do more meaningful things at ESPN than just regurgitate highlights and she will get that opportunity now. It isn’t a coincidence that she will be doing more things with The Undefeated because it is clear that is where her voice is needed and she will have more free rein to speak on the serious issues facing the black community.