ESPN has released a statement condemning SportsCenter co-anchor Jemele Hill’s tweets that accused President Trump of being a white supremacist.
"The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” ESPN said in a statement Tuesday.
During a Twitter exchange Monday, Hill tweeted, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” Her comments came after she called out Kid Rock for not actually loving black people.
Some questioned whether Hill violated, or had previously violated, ESPN’s Twitter policy. Hill is known for being outspoken about current political events.
ESPN’s policy previously encouraged sports journalist to refrain from “political editorializing, personal attacks or ‘drive-by’ comments” directed at then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Three months after Trump was elected, the policy was adjusted to allow commentators like Hill to express their views if the topic is “related to a current issue impacting sports.”
Hill’s tweets come at a time when news sites, most recently Politico, have spoken out about potential job-candidates' political opinions on social media. Politico said they throw-out “dozens” of potential hires because of “partisan or puerile tweets” that they feel are “revealing insight into how people write” and cover stories.
At a conference in June, Hill claimed that mixing sports and politics is unavoidable in the current political climate.
“Sports have always been political,” Hill said. “The athletes are dragging us here…I didn’t ask Colin Kaepernick to kneel. He did it on his own. So, was I supposed to act like he didn’t?”