Jemele Hill suspended by ESPN for telling the truth
“I can’t pretend as if this isn’t a challenging time in our country’s history. As a career journalist, I can’t pretend that I don’t see what’s happening in our world.
I also can’t pretend as if the tone and behavior of this presidential administration is normal. And I certainly can’t pretend that racism and white supremacy aren’t real and that marginalized people don’t feel threatened and vulnerable, myself included, on a daily basis.
Yes, my job is to deliver sports commentary and news. But when do my duties to the job end and my rights as a person begin?”
Jemele Hill writes these words in a piece for The Undefeated even as ESPN has suspended her for two weeks for allegedly calling for a boycott of Jerry Jones and the NFL’s sponsors on Twitter. The sports journalism company has decided those tweets are against its social media code of conduct. As The Hill reports, ESPN pays the NFL close to a sum of two billion dollars every year.
Hill’s suspension is not the only suspension that ESPN has handed down for speaking out against high ranking members of the NFL, and this reveals that the network wants its employees to be quiet about advising the public as to what steps they can take to hold the NFL accountable for its more distasteful owners. Most likely, it is because ESPN pays the NFL and they can’t have their employees asking people to essentially stop watching their network.
Michael Smith, Hill’s co-host on the six o’clock PM Sportscenter show has shown his displeasure with ESPN’s decision by coming to a mutual agreement to sit out Monday’s show. Even though Smith will return tonight, Hill’s absence will be felt for two weeks.
This entire ordeal is yet another reminder of the hidden costs of being outspoken, Black, and a woman in Corporate America. Even when you tell the truth, your employer will want to silence and remind you that you are replaceable.
Read the tweets that got Hill silenced here.