Words by Jason Cordner
Jemele Hill‘s suspension is all most over. The provocative ESPN broadcaster will return to the airwaves on Monday evening, back on the 6pm Sportscenter. Hill has been silent on social media since her suspension started. TMZ caught up with Jemelle Hill on Saturday and she had a few stuff to get off her chest.
“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
Jemele Hill drew fire 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 saying ” She has a point”.
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. That’s when ESPN took action and shelved Hill for two weeks.
In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences.
Will Jemele Hill double down on her comments or stick to the company policies? The quickest way forward from this was always going to involve Hill striking a conciliatory tone. Either way, Hill’s return will spark a lot of emotions and ratings for ESPN.