Controversy, Sports, Television

What a Surprise: Jemele Hill Receives 2 Week Suspension from ESPN


Have you seen this meme? Speaks volumes, yes?

Another tough day for Black women in sports. Yesterday, Jemele Hill was suspended from her flagship broadcast, Sportscenter, on ESPN for what they have cited as a breach of their social media policies. Hill took to Twitter on the heels of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, decrying any of his players “disrespecting the flag”, stating that they will not play if they are caught doing so. Read more on his 22 minute press conference even citing Mike Pence’s Colts publicity stunt.

Jemele Hill took to Twitter with these 5 tweets:

Is it not interesting to have a private citizen held more accountable for her tweets than the President of the United States? Or that the actual White House Press Secretary has even commented on these issues?

The better question came from CNN. Jemele Hill is being paid to opine, so why is she being silenced? reads the latest headline on the scandal. Now if you’ll remember a few weeks ago, Hill made some pretty harsh (and warranted) comments about the president, stating that he is a “White supremacist”, after which ESPN amended their social networking policies. Read Below:

* Personal websites and blogs that contain sports content are not permitted

* Prior to engaging in any form of social networking dealing with sports, you must receive permission from the supervisor as appointed by your department head

* ESPN.COM may choose to post sports related social media content

* If opts not to post sports related social media content created by ESPN talent, you are not permitted to report, speculate, discuss or give any opinions on sports related topics or personalities on your personal platforms

* The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content

* Assume at all times you are representing ESPN

* If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in your column, don’t tweet it

* Exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your colleagues, business associates and our fans

* Avoid discussing internal policies or detailing how a story or feature was reported, written, edited or produced and discussing stories or features in progress, those that haven’t been posted or produced, interviews you’ve conducted, or any future coverage plans.

* Steer clear of engaging in dialogue that defends your work against those who challenge it and do not engage in media criticism or disparage colleagues or competitors

* Be mindful that all posted content is subject to review in accordance with ESPN’s employee policies and editorial guidelines

* Confidential or proprietary company information or similar information of third parties who have shared such information with ESPN, should not be shared

So was ESPN right to suspend Jemele Hill or is this starting to feel like the gag order that never expires?

Photo Courtesy of Sandra Rose


There seems to be an American effort to silence the voices of Black and Brown people. If the general agenda is not met, many companies like ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys are bowing to the will of the Trump Administration and the more unseen forces taking meetings behind closed doors. Whereas companies such as Dove are missing the mark all together. Yet, people of color will soon, not only control America’s buying power, but its infrastructure making White Americans the minority by 2045.

  1. Representation Matters.

We need MORE Jemeles and Colins. We need more Black women in media so that our opinions, our faces, our presence can be normalized. The idea that Hill is simply echoing the concerns of many Black Americans and facing backlash for it only solidifies the notion that we must be present at the table. Be the presence uncomfortable, it is necessary. Discomfort brings about change and America seems to be feeling the pressure.

2. Take Jemele’s advice.

No really. Sis said a mouthful. You want to create change? Boycott the money source. Advertisers (much like Dove) are about to feel the void of the Black dollar and green is a universal language. For once, we don’t have to search far and wide for a “how”. It was given to us. She gave us the blueprint and I can guarantee, no suspension will ever stop Hill from doing what’s right for the Black community. So let’s rally together to due diligence. One thing can be said…

This energy is reminiscent of the strength and sacrifice of the Civil Rights movement and it’s exhilarating to see our own version of modern-day heroes. Thank You, Jemele, for being on the right side of history.



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