Jemele Hill Suspended after Tweets About Cowboys Owner

ESPN cited Hill’s previous tweets about President Trump in a statement regarding her suspension.

TWITTER; REUTERS

ESPN has suspended one of its hosts, Jemele Hill, after she posted a series of tweets pertaining to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said players who demonstrate during the national anthem will be benched.

“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” Jones said. “Understand? We will not … if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period.”

Hill criticized Jones for putting some of his players in an uncomfortable spot and called on fans to take action.

ESPN posted a statement on Twitter, which referred to Hill’s previous tweets about President Donald Trump, calling the posts “impulsive.”

“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company 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.”

Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers when the latter team knelt during the national anthem.

In a statement Monday, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said the players’ actions are not disrespecting the flag.

“Last week both the Commissioner and the Chair of the NFL Management Council John Mara were clear when they assured our union leaders, in the presence of other owners, that they would respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution,” he said. “I look forward to the day when everyone in Management can unite and truly embrace and article what that Flag stands for: ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ instead of some of them just talking about standing. We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.”

Related Story

White House Said Calling President a White Supremacist Is ‘Fireable Offense’

Last month Hill called Trump a white supremacist on Twitter. Her words caught the attention of the White House: Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill’s tweets “a fireable offense” at a subsequent press briefing.

Hill later said she regretted that her comments “painted ESPN in an unfair light.” But she stood by her remarks as her personal beliefs.

Trump on Tuesday attacked Hill on Twitter.

Some responded with criticism, both for the nature of his tweet and the fact that he perhaps has more important things he could devote his Twitter fingers to.

According to a new set of guidelines issued by ESPN earlier this year, “commentary related to political or social issues, candidates or office holders is appropriate on ESPN platforms.”

A subsequent list of guidelines suggests that such commentary pertains to sports whenever possible and to “avoid personal attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.”

“Personal attacks” and “inflammatory rhetoric” are subjective terms, Patrick Stiegman shared in an interview with ESPN analyzing the guidelines. Stiegman is ESPN’s vice president of global digital content. He also serves as chairman of the company’s internal Editorial Board.

“There is always a layer of subjectivity in such areas,” Stiegman said. “Editors and producers will work with those offering opinions on these topics to ensure the dialogue and debate is thoughtful, respectful and as fair as possible.”

While not appearing to discipline Hill publicly after the Trump tweets, according to an exclusive from ThinkProgress, ESPN did try to keep Hill off the air after the incident. Several sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the outlet that Michael Smith, Hill’s SportsCenter co-host, refused to do the show without Hill, and the network could not find replacement hosts in time for the broadcast.

Some of the sources said that ESPN was ideally seeking Black hosts to do the show, but others said the network asked multiple people if they were available, including white anchors. Apparently not able to find a replacement, ESPN asked Hill to come back to do the show, and she and Smith appeared on air.

ThinkProgress also reported that ESPN denies that account of the day’s events.

“Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened,” Rob King, SportsCenter SVP of news and information, shared with the outlet. “In the end, ultimately, Michael and Jemele appearing on the show last night and doing the show the way they did is the outcome we always desired.”

ESPN reported to ThinkProgress and other media outlets that they “never asked” anyone to fill in for Hill or Smith.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • Most media outlets’ headlines wrote that she was suspended after suggesting a boycott of NFL advertisers or Cowboys’ advertisers, literally biting the hand that feeds her, and her coworkers, and her supervisors, managers and bosses.

    Reply
    • Sometimes you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do to fight injustice on a national scale. See what Colin Kapernick did? He paid a price for his standing up (or in his case, kneeling down) for what he believed in. How can anyone in the public continue to see how racist and bigoted the United States is and NOT have anything to say about it??

      No one gives a fuzzy rat’s tail about that stupid flag other than the sheep who actually believe it represents freedom and justice for all. It represents years of atrocities against indigenous people of this land and those who were dragged away from their homelands to be slaves in this “great nation.” America hates it when their dirty laundry gets hung for the world to see, so now the NFL owners are willing to violate their players’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and peaceful protest so viewers and fans can be lulled back to sleep and just watch sports.

      All the covering up in the world won’t avoid America’s fate. Until they do the right thing they’ll be cursed for theirs and their ancestors misdeeds. Just watch it play out!

      Reply
  • Linwood gray

    Why is it ok for him to call some one a sob but others are not allowed to call him for what he is!!!! We keep saying we don’t stand for what he represents but no one has done anything to stop him. If we are not going to hold him accountable let’s every one shut the HELL UP and let this man do and say what ever he wants!! AMERICA YOU ABOUT TO GET WHAT YOU ASKED FOR!!!!!!! JESUS HELP US!!

    Reply
  • I just want to add..I bet this woman who tweeted won’t be getting offers to have her own major network show under a major morning news brand after years…and I mean years…of degrading minorities in America on TV day after day after day. Just something else to think about.

    Reply
  • Donald Cleveland

    Jerry Jones is saying “Willie Lynch and I have our slaves under control and Miami’s falling in line too.” “What about the owners of the other plantations?”

    Reply
    • Unfortunately they’ll most likely fall in line with the rest of the plantation owners and the players will submit to their massas. Sad but true, not everyone is Colin Kapernick who was willing to be the sacrifice for what he believed in. Not everyone is that strong and determined. But I won’t spend a nickel dealing with the NFL and there are many who I know that won’t either. Hope the NFL bleeds money this season!!

      Reply
      • Kapernik could be playing in the NFY right now but he wanted more money than his performance is worth. Miami offered him but he declined. If he was any good, he would be playing. Talent can overcome drama. Unfortunately his drama out weighed his talent.

        Reply
        • Bull. The sole customer of Kelly’s adult daycare (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) saw what was going on and leverged the topic for racists to rally around “the flag”, providing a great distraction from his failures to repeal Obamacare, build a Mexican-paid-for wall and tax reform. As it turns out, the only thing 45 is good at is motivating racists (and facilitating the robber barrons’ agenda to eliminate environmental regulations and rape Puerto Rico)

          Kaepernick is now radioactive. No team is going to hire him.

          And people like you have trump muscles.

          Reply
  • This woman’s statements, I thought, were ridiculous about President Trump. Them alone should had gotten her dismissed. Given her continue to push the envelope, she got what she deserved. People who do these sort of things while holding these types of positions should also be aware of and expected to face the consequences.

    Reply
    • Awww…I know it must be hard for you and the Trump-ites to deal with the truth! It hurts that there are many people of color in public positions who are no longer afraid of putting the truth out there and it must just set your brain on fire every time it happens! The atrocities in the United States can no longer be contained or swept under the rug! If they decided to fire Jemele tomorrow, another would just step up and take her place, just like many of the NFL players took Colin’s place. The truth is out there for the world to see and I hope even more step up to the challenge. It’s just a job and those who lose theirs for pointing out racism and inequalities in the USA will get another one. Maybe not as glamorous and flashy or even pay as much, but they won’t starve. Haven’t heard anything about Colin Kapernick eating from trash cans, have you??

      Maybe one day before you transition off this planet, you’ll realize you’re being used to perpetuate the same racism we’re standing against. Maybe one day you’ll realize that Cheeto45 is using your mindset as a demographic to get and keep his job! He has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING useful as POTUS and you know it! He has managed to divide this country in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1950s! He spends more time on Twitter than at his White House Office desk and he runs his office and Congress like Romper Room! He and his porn-star (oh, I mean “model”) wife the sorriest excuse for POTUS and FLOTUS that have ever hit 1600…ever! And all you and the Trump-ites want to do is give him cover because if he fails, then you fail. Good luck with that…

      Reply
  • Jerry Jones is following the white supremacist lead of his friend, tRump which is “you better put those ni@@ers in their place.” As a former Army lieutenant, the flag, anthem, and the military are just another way in which white folKKKs want Blacks to be partakers in their lies and denial about oppression and genocidal killings of people of color. On the 4th of U-Lie, so-called “Independence Day,” they want us to celebrate the fact that WE as Blacks were NOT FREE or INDEPENDENT. On Thanksgiving, they want us to talk turkey with them and forget the genocidal killing of 700 Pequot Indian men, women and children [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicole-breedlove/thanksgiving-pequot-massacre_b_4337722.html]. Now, they want us to disregard slave owner Francis Scott Key’s racist, satanic verses condemning the Black Colonial Marines who won their INDEPENDENCE/FREEDOM by fighting for the British. White AmeriKKKan patriots like Jerry Jones and tRump are PSYCHOPATHS. It’s analogous to asking a child victimized and molested by a pedophile to attend a party to celebrate the pedophile’s birthday! It’s also analogous to invite a woman victimized and raped by “p^ssy-grabbing” tRump, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly or Harvey Weinstein to a Slumber party in John Podesta’s or the late Hugh Hefner’s home.

    As Jane Elliott described tRump, he is a “little boy grown tall.” With all the world’s disasters and North Korea’s nuclear bomb threats, tRump majors in the minor, and minors in the major. He allows runes and sigils to supplant reason and substance. Corker is right–the White House has turned into a kiddie daycare center led by spoiled brat, Little Lord tRumparoy.

    Reply
  • I have two young sons and I am very concerned about their future and agree that we need to stand together to ensure that our children have a safe and productive future in this country just like our parents and grandparents did when they choose to stand up in the face of cruelty and hatred. I applaud the motivation of the pro athletes and others in the sports industry but the current strategy needs to be made more effective. Those that are against what the players are doing are assuming that the players have no intelligence and so they easily change the subject from what is really important and that is the lives of so many young Black men that are killed every year. If the players can stay on message and commit to staying unified and commit to solidarity then they will be successful. They need not mention all the other topics that come up during their protests. Don’t even mention them and don’t surrender to pressure. Our parents didn’t get distracted from the fact that their efforts would save lives even in the midst of vicious dogs, church bombings, kidnappings, lynchings, miscegnation and rape, brutality, prejudice, and hatred. Today the insidious prejudices and cruel hatred are much more subtle and covert but the problem is the same. Stay on message, “This country needs to stop killing its young Black men”. The players shouldn’t mention or discuss anything else no matter what others say. If they are asked by anyone how come they don’t do this or that and why are they doing that or this, the response should always be the same, “This country needs to stop killing it’s young Black men”. That’s why the NFL players are taking a knee. If they stop taking a knee during the time that white folks hate for them to do it the most then the conversation and effort will come to an end. Keep doing what you are doing and tell the country over and over again, “This country needs to stop killing its young Black men. They didn’t like when the protests were occurring in the past and they won’t like it now. King Nebuccadnezzar didn’t like it either when Shadrach, Meshach and Abedingo protested and threw them in the fiery furnace. King Darius’ administration didn’t like it either when Daniel wouldn’t bow down to and allegiance to their god versus his God either and he was thrown in the lion’s den. The True and Living God (and not the god that is on a country’s money) delivered them and our parents and He can do the same again!

    Reply
        • You’re trying to deflect or change the subject, as you often do, but Kyle is correct. Mr. Jones worries about the lives of so many young black men that are killed every year, but the main killer of young black men is young black men. Sorry.

          Reply
        • lately it appears to be more whites murdering white than blacks murdering blacks…we just witness that last week.

          Reply
          • 84% of white people murdered are murdered by other white people. That’s if you believe FBI statistics assembled by self reporting from police forces. The last time I looked, the top 17 people at the FBI were white and there is a tremendous racial gap between police and civilian demographics while the opposite is true of prison populations.

            https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/03/us/the-race-gap-in-americas-police-departments.html

            I don’t think the overall statistics can possibly be accurate, however, it does appear that Black criminality is higher than white criminality, an opinion slso expressed by Professor Paul Butler, author of “Chokehold”, a book every American should read.

            At the bottom of the argument is the question “Do you believe that Black people have an innately higher propensity to be criminal?” If not, then how did our society get this way?

            For those answers, I suggest Taylor Branch’s trilogy of the history of Civil Rights and Frederick Douglas’ “My Bondage and My Freedom”. I will be publishing a complete bibliography of recommended books this week

      • This is always the same nonsense white men use to deflect from the truth. Just like when they’re being called out for racism, they just scream “racist” back until they can’t hear themselves yelling thinking that’ll solve the problem. Now you have them deflecting from the NFL players protesting quietly and peacefully to this ridiculous nonsense about disrespecting the flag and the military when that couldn’t be further from the truth! To be exact, many of the NFL players themselves are military veterans…what’s White America’s answer for that??

        What is so special about that stupid flag other than what it truly represents (racism, sexism, and any-other-“iism” wrapped in red white and blue cloth? Has nothing to do with true patriotism at all…

        The black on black crime issues are rooted in post slavery disenfranchisement and unfortunately you have a small remnant of people who have bought into the lies of the hood and turned it into part of culture when in reality our real culture, faith, and language were stolen from us centuries ago. Unfortunately some of those will never get out of that mentality, accept it as part of their culture and keep the insanity going from generation to generation; they are a remnant group, not how the majority of how black and brown people think and behave. Just like you have a remnant of whites who basically act like animals who live in the “hood” too. I had the dubious task of dealing with them and they are worse than ANYONE of color that I’ve ever lived around. They live in garbage, roach and vermin infested environments, they don’t bathe or take care of their children, and the drugs and crime run rampant. Funny, people like you NEVER mention people like them even exist…. You write them off as “trailer white trash” and don’t even count them in your mental statistics. But let me tell you something…they DO exist and they commit more crimes and wreak more havoc than any other demographic I am familiar with!!

        So please stop with the black on black crime crap that white men use as their “get out of jail free card”. It doesn’t give police officers an excuse to kill black men and boys with impunity and without reprimand or recourse.

        Reply
    • All them yard signs at homes and businesses in surrounding communities surrounding Ferguson, Mo and in St Louis read “We must stop killing each other”. They are not directed at the police (employees). If you and your sons lived were in these areas, the police employees, would not be that imminent threat. Those who realize this, the elderly and common residents, are never seen being interviewed on how they feel about their reality nor videoed when they take a knee. Black communities have the power to stop their employees from behaving counter to policy and some have. NFL players aren’t responsible for that. No local police agency is the same across the country. State Statutes authorize Police, security Guards, and CCW holders to use deadly force not kneeling players. Then again this may not be the reason for the protesting for I have heard many issues thrown out from brutality, to wealth disparity (really … players are complaining about this), to oppression. So which is it?

      Reply
      • Not directed at the police? In a lower middle-class suburb of St. Louis, Michael Brown was shot and killed by the police, the officer got away with it. The protests following his murder were met with an unbelievably militaristic response by the police. “We must stop killing each other” certainly includes the police.

        Reply
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