ESPN announced on Monday that it has suspended Jemele Hill, co-host of the 6 p.m. “SportsCenter,” for two weeks for what it called “a second violation of our social media guidelines.”
The network took the action in the wake of tweets Sunday night that called for an advertiser boycott of the Cowboys.
Earlier, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had said if any of his players do not stand during the national anthem or otherwise disrespect the flag, they will not play for his team. Hill wrote, among other things, “Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”
In its statement about the suspension, ESPN said that Hill “previously acknowledged letting her company and colleagues down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”
In a tweet last month, Hill called President Donald Trump “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/other white supremacists.”
ESPN did not suspend Hill, but it issued a statement asserting that her post did “not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
ESPN, like the NFL, has found itself in the middle of the nation’s current political crossfire, with many accusing the network of a liberal bias. The suspension of Hill is certain to generate return anger from the other side of the political divide — including from many inside ESPN itself.