ESPN’s Jemele Hill properly identified Donald Trump as a white supremacist

ESPN The Party Houston - Arrivals

Jemele Hill is a popular host and sports/culture analyst on ESPN. She and Michael Smith became the new hosts of ESPN’s SportsCenter earlier this year, and from what I’ve seen, the show is still pretty popular and Jemele is well-respected. ESPN employs many women, and many women of color, as on-air talent, and they cover everything from football to tennis to pay equity in sports to civil rights and more. But now we know that there’s a line certain women aren’t supposed to cross: black women who work for ESPN aren’t allowed to call out white supremacists, or even properly identify white supremacists as what they are. Earlier this week, Jemele Hill went on something of a Twitter rant, although to me these just read as a series of factual tweets:

She wasn’t done there. She continued to tweet at several people (who must have deleted their initial tweets, because I can’t see them), and kept going:

Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period. He has surrounded himself with white supremacists — no they are not “alt right” — and you want me to believe he isn’t a white supremacist? No. The media doesn’t make it a threat. It IS a threat. He has empowered white supremacists (see: Charlottesville). How is it a “false narrative?” Did he hire and court white supremacists? Answer: YES. You just don’t want to believe it because it’s too unpleasant. But that doesn’t change the facts. He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected. Donald Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn’t, because I cared about more than just myself. I hate a lot of things but not enough to jeopardize my fellow citizens with an unfit, bigoted, incompetent moron. But hey, that’s just me.

[From Jemele Hill's Twitter]

So all of the neo-Nazis, alt-right bros and MRAs came out of the woodwork for an actual internet lynching. As I was looking through her tweets, I saw sh-t from Governor Rick Scott of Florida, who should really have more important things to worry about. There were also about a million other tweet-responses from Deplorables who want Jemele to be “fired” and “taken down” and a lot worse. How dare this African-American woman calmly lay down some simple, factual statements about Donald Trump’s white supremacism? HOW DARE SHE?

So instead of merely having Jemele’s back or issuing a simple “ESPN doesn’t endorse Jemele’s comments but we respect her right to her opinion” statement, ESPN went the other way – utter pandering to the white-supremacist factions of their viewership. They issued this apology:

She recognizes that her actions were inappropriate? Bulls–t. BULLSH-T. I’m disgusted on her behalf. So are other people – there’s now a #StandWithJemele movement online:

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63 Responses to “ESPN’s Jemele Hill properly identified Donald Trump as a white supremacist”

  1. Nicole says:

    THIS is why we say ending racism isn’t our work. We get shamed and we aren’t the ones that are denying the facts. Minorities are on the front lines putting everything on the line and nothing changes. It’s exhausting.
    At least one of her colleagues stood up for her thankfully. But espn is cancelled for me. I stand with her

  2. JosieH says:

    Eh, people have been fired from that network for saying a lot less than what she did.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      Unfortunately, yes. She is a public figure, working for a network whose job it is to talk about sports. The network has every right to not want her personal views conflated with its business. Cause that’s all it is – business.

      • HK9 says:

        When you don’t think your ‘business’ has to have ethics outside of the laws of the land, you end up in places you don’t expect, defending people you shouldn’t be defending. They are now in the land of defending white supremacists…a network that makes a lot of money airing games of athletes, many who are minorities. In the short term, they can run their ‘business’, in the long term, it will be a bit harder than that.

    • Sarah says:

      Was going to comment about the same thing. ESPN has a history of being quite clique-ish. One only has to watch a few of their different spottcenter’s airings to understand there’s a toxic hierarchy environment there, it’s stupid and eye-roll-worthy.
      I will never forgive them for giving up on Grantland (RIP).

    • Cynthia says:

      We live in a time where business and politics cannot be separated, especially sports where players are talking about it. Consumers want to know where business stand on politics.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Give me a break. Everyone everywhere was saying the same thing, and it isn’t a lie. ESPN has made millions of dollars showing sports that have scores of black and minority athletes.

      They should have backed her up, and they better not make her apologize on air. She is one of the best they have on the network, and it is outrageous they behaved the way they did.

      Where is the lie?

    • Erica_V says:

      Unpopular opinion or not I have to agree – ESPN (and Disney which owns ESPN) is very very strict about what their employees can & can not say and that includes on & off air print & social media. Michelle Beadle has been suspended before over things she said on Twitter about Mayweather that violated their social media content guidelines.

      Doesn’t make what ESPN did right or what she said any less true (because to be clear it’s 100% true) but at a basic level when you agree to follow your company’s guidelines (which include what is and is not allowed on social media) you have to adhere to that.

      I also don’t think their statement is that bad – how many times do you hear or read “the opinions on commentary do not necessarily represent the opinions of MGM/NBC/etc”? that seems pretty standard.

      I do think it’s inappropriate when employees act like guidelines others follow and/or have been reprimanded for do not apply to you. If you are an employee of a company that has rules and you don’t follow those rules then expect to be reprimanded – even if your cause is just or your statements are factual.

      Lastly – I need to disagree – their format for the 6PM SC is terrible. I don’t need a talk show with silly segments and guests – that’s every other ESPN show. SportsCenter should be scores, highlights and top stories.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        ‘I also don’t think their statement is that bad – how many times do you hear or read “the opinions on commentary do not necessarily represent the opinions of MGM/NBC/etc”? that seems pretty standard.’ Normally that would be a pretty standard, acceptable response. But when an employee is just harmlessly making a pretty basic statement condemning white supremacy in all its forms and the company’s response is “That doesn’t represent our position”, those bland little words turn into an awful reflection on the company, not the employee they’re trying to distance themselves from.

  3. Megan says:

    Sessions, Bannon, Gorka, Miller. Trump hires white supremacists because he is one. Jemele was merely stating that facts. ESPN should not be trying to censor the truth.

  4. jferber says:

    Bullshit on her network. Pandering cowards. Jemelle is a hero who speaks truth. She’s now on my radar and I hope she gets her own show and makes the talk show rounds. By the way. she’s gorgeous and photogenic, too. She’d be great on a morning show. This is a dismal moment in our country’s history.

  5. Esmom says:

    I was nodding along to everything she said…and was stunned to read ESPN’s statement. ESPN, f^ck you.

  6. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I was reading some of the comments back to her, stating things like that guy who said “gorilla” was fired so she should be too.

    the disconnect is astounding. Calling out racist language and firing those who use it,is NOT equivalent to calling out racists. The facts support what she said. ESPN had a moment here, to be on the right side of history, and they blew it. The should be bowing down to her that she doesn’t sue them, hostile work environment, supporting a racist agenda, anything.

  7. Neelyo says:

    I hope athletes come out LOUD against this one. ESPN’s bread and butter is the athletes, many of whom are minorities.

    I’d boycott if I bothered to watch it.

  8. As_If says:

    Of course he’s a white supremacist. Even if he wasn’t, he was voted in by racists, sexists, and general bigots. He was voted in by some of the people I never thought had a narrow-minded view. A former friend, single mother, working-poor, minority (but looks white) shocked me. She’s against EVERYTHING she actually is. Southwest born and bred. One man is so racist it’s disturbing, but he doesn’t see it, at all. He doesn’t dislike blacks, but will pick up for whites when something goes down.

  9. BJ says:

    Rick Scott needs to pretend like he is focused on the 4.4 million who still don’t have power in Florida.Focus on the evacuees returning home to see the billions of dollars of damage in his state.

  10. Kitten says:

    Well see this is the problem when you hire a television personality with a very public history of racism to run your country. People will have sh*t to say about it. It’s so easy to make this merely about political differences and compare it to “that other time so-and-so criticized a president” but our current situation really can’t be compared/contrasted against previous situations because our country has never been here before–it’s new territory.

    Business procedures aside, my opinion is that 45 shouldn’t be protected from criticism at this point because he is quite literally destroying our country.

  11. Merritt says:

    ESPN is full of cowards. Jemele told the truth and they can’t stand it.

  12. lisa says:

    ESPN can shut the hell up forever

    she is only telling the truth, 100% truth

  13. S says:

    As Ta-nehisi Coates said in his should-be-required-reading Atlantic essay …

    “Certainly not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”

  14. Lizzie says:

    they think her actions were inappropriate b/c women, particularly black women, aren’t allowed to say their opinion….EVER! that little dig would not be included if this were a male journalist. that was a dose of patronizing salt on the wound of being publically scolded and hung out to dry by her employers. women in male dominated workplaces are very familiar with these constant microagressions.

  15. Tiffany says:

    If they suspend or fire Jemele, hell will be raised for sure.

  16. Maria F. says:

    she did not say in on air and she does not work for a political or talk show style program.

    So no idea why she could not state her personal beliefs on her twitter.

  17. Reef says:

    Her feed is full of folks calling her the n-word and equating that to calling 45 a white supremacist. I like Jemele Hill, she doesn’t deserve that thrown at her.

  18. littlemissnaughty says:

    That ESPN statement is disgusting. “We’ve reprimanded the little black girl, she won’t be bothering you anymore. Don’t worry racists, we’ve got you.” I want to vomit.

  19. wow says:

    *reads Jemele’s tweets*

    No lies told.

  20. why? says:

    Now Sarah Huckabee is saying that Jemele needs to be fired for calling “both sides” Trump a WS. The King of Lies and Fake News is a WS, did Sarah not see how The King of Lies and Fake News response to Charlottesville? What about Bannon’s interview? What about Kris Kobach, the man who is leading the Voter Suppression Committee while working for BB and Bannon? Sarah needs to be held accountable for the lies she tells. Most importantly why do the press reporters put with Sarah’s lies? They can walk out, but just like ESPN, they sit there and act complicit.

    The WS is full of WS who are making policies. Sessions, Miller, Kris Kobach. Gorka’s wife. Gorka and Bannon are not physically in the WH, but they are still working for the WH.

  21. adastraperaspera says:

    Amen, Jemele, Amen. You spoke the truth. We all have to face what is happening here. White supremacists are sitting in the highest offices in this land, and they are a supreme danger to all of us. I think we are going to see many more people speaking out, and perhaps many being unjustly fired for it. But speaking out is the only way forward! Thank you, Jemele, for doing the right thing. You are not stating your “opinion.” You are issuing a clarion call. It is not an “opinion” that Trump is a racist. It is a FACT.

  22. Megan says:

    @GetReal can you please list what you are doing to make things better?

  23. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I don’t think Kitten’s post means what you think it means, GetReal. Because your reply is bizarre. Nonsensical.

  24. 5thHouse says:

    I’d also like to know what you’re doing to make things better.

  25. nicegirl says:

    GetReal, um, hello, like, GET REAL.

  26. Kitten says:

    …literally made zero sense as a reply to my comment.

    Damn. Russian bots are really bad at this, aren’t they?

  27. Megan says:

    The president’s words and actions are disgraceful. If he starts acting like a leader and working to serve all Americans, he would get a lot more respect around here.

  28. Sylvia says:

    Sooo… is Get Real one of those oxymoron names? Like when big men are nicknamed Tiny? Just wondering.

  29. Kitten says:

    Oh ok, well since you asked me so nicely to stop…

    Yeah, NOPE. I’m NEVER going to stop attacking the Office of the Presidency and if you don’t like it then don’t follow my posts, creeper.

    I thought you crazy-ass right wingers fancy yourselves as *Free Speech Crusaders*? Well here’s me exercising my First Amendment rights: F*ck Trump and f*ck every single one of you who voted for him.

    How’s that? Troll no longer hungry?

  30. meowren says:

    @getreal, america was basically built on the right to protest: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.” -thomas jefferson.

  31. Otaku Fairy says:

    “Stop whining and get to work to make things better” cries the worthless Trump stan on a left-leaning celebrity gossip site because he’s triggered by valid criticism directed at his KKKomander in Chief. Stop stanning for some reality TV elite White Supremacist billionaire and go work to make things better. Start by growing enough of a conscience to vote less unethically next time around.

  32. Snowflake says:

    We are working on making things better. By getting rid of that racist POS! You just want us to go along with Trump’s agenda to make life easier for you guys. Why don’t you work on listening to other people’s POV instead of dismissing it? Sorry our “pres” doesn’t deserve respect. When you try to paint ARMED neo Nazis as equal with anti racism protesters, something’s wrong with you. Fighting racism is in NO way the same as supporting it. Those protestors didn’t come armed because they were planning on peaceful protest. One of them beat a black guy in a parking garage with baseball bat, surrounded by his Nazis friends. While that black guy was on the ground, wondering if this was going to be his last moments. Or the people in the crowd, stunned as a car comes flying through, trying to hit people. That IS in NO way equal to the antiracism protesters. Or ANTIFA, as you guys like to describe anyone protesting racism , although not everyone that protests is part of ANTIFA. And if you think that I am going to support a racist POS, you are wrong. Being an American does not mean we cannot acknowledge the faults of our Pres. I mean, you guys went to town on Obama. Did you say support our President then? Doubt it. So I am proud I do not endorse racists like 45 and can’t wait till he’s impeached.

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