The fallout from ESPN’s two-week suspension of Jemele Hill, co-host of the 6 p.m. “SportsCenter,” continued on Tuesday, starting with an early morning tweet from President Donald Trump.
Trump’s post read: “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have “tanked,” in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!”
ESPN suspended Hill Monday for what it said was a second violation of its social media policy.
On Sunday night, she suggested on Twitter that those who disapprove of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ stance on his players not standing for the national anthem could consider boycotting Cowboys advertisers. Jones has said any player who disrespects the flag will not be allowed to play for his team.
Last month, Hill called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, which did not result in a suspension but which did prompt a White House spokeswoman to call the tweet a fireable offense.
On Monday, Hill’s co-host, Michael Smith, did not appear on the show, but he was expected back on Tuesday.
Hill tweeted on Tuesday, “I love you @michaelsmith for being my biggest supporter, a great friend, terrific husband & father. I truly don’t deserve you. See you soon.”
Trump’s tweet aimed at Hill prompted reactions on Twitter from some of Hill’s ESPN colleagues, including Cari Champion, who tweeted, “None of this is normal. It is not okay. It’s not normal. I love you @jemelehill.”
ESPN, like most major cable channels, has seen its distribution fall in the face of cord-cutting from viewers no longer interested in a traditional bundle of cable channels.