Jemele Hill took to Twitter updating fans on her sudden departure from ESPN's SportsCenter. In her lengthy post, Hill silenced rumors of her leaving the sport's network and got candid about what led her transitioning over to ESPN's site The Undefeated.
I have a few things to say ... pic.twitter.com/tqEBXLajtp— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 26, 2018
Jemele Hill is leaving her role as an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter to join the staff of the company's microsite, The Undefeated.
After a whirlwind 2017, which saw President Trump publicly blame Hill for ESPN's ratings drop and the Worldwide Leader In Sports suspending her for what it called "a second violation of our social media guidelines," Hill reportedly asked the network's management for a change with her request being granted, as reported by Sports Illustrated. SI additionally reported that Hill is expected to leave the anchor desk of SC6 in February.
Although Hill's exact role with The Undefeated hasn't been disclosed as of yet, the ESPN microsite is known for its solid stories, combining sports, race and overall culture, possibly meaning that she'll have more freedom in delivering her opinions and commentary.
Last September, as a fallout over how Trump reacted to white supremacists in the Charlottesville attack, Hill tweeted and called the Celebrity-in-Chief "a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists." The very next day, ESPN attempted to distance itself from Hill, releasing a statement saying that her tweets about Trump "do not represent the position of ESPN." Many people took that as ESPN trying to silence Hill and blasted the company for it.
A month later in October, ESPN suspended Hill for two weeks over a second violation of its social media guidelines after she tweeted that "if you feel strongly about [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones's statement, boycott his advertisers." That was in reference to Jones threatening his players who didn't stand during the national anthem. Although Hill later insisted that she wasn't advocating an NFL boycott, ESPN still imposed the two-week suspension.
That suspension somehow prompted Trump to blame Hill for ESPN's ratings slide — something which got him blasted by several of her colleagues at the network.
Although Hill would say, "I deserved that suspension," upon her return to co-anchoring SportsCenter last October, perhaps the time off helped in contemplating her next move.
Hill leaving SportsCenter comes roughly a year after ESPN relaunched the time slot as SC6 with her and co-anchor Michael Smith. What effect Hill departing the show will have on Smith and SC6's overall direction remains to be seen.
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