“Stick to sports” is exactly what SportsCenter anchor, Jemele Hill was doing when she got suspended October 9, 2017 for violating ESPN’s social media guideline for the second time. The suspension was a result of Dallas Cowboys’ owner threatening to bench any player that kneels during the national anthem. Hill suggested to angry fans to boycott JJ’s advertisers if they want to see change happen. A few tweets later, she made everyone claro in her statements.
ESPN later released a statement suspending Hill for two weeks without clarifying which guideline she specifically broke or if the suspension is paid. After looking at the social media (created in 2011) and commentary guidelines, anything political or topics that make people uncomfortable must be approved prior to commenting.
According to the social media guidelines, Hill broke the rule that reads “At all times, exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for colleagues, business associates and fans” and arguably, “think before your tweet.”
The commentary guidelines challenges the previous ones and one rule reads “the topic should be related to a current issue impacting sports,” although they must be approved in advance by senior editorial management.
The problem here with Disney-owned company and those that support Hill’s suspension forget that she is also a human with real-life feelings. Apart from being human, she is a black woman who has a large following on a major platform that is asking her to ignore the lies that are being circulated about NFL players kneeling.
Why should she ignore the stories that pertain to sports because the people watching or rich advertisers that sign deals do not agree with the statements? Why should she care about those that have completely switched the narrative to create more tension is this exhausting, divided, blah, blah, blah?
Jemele, I hope you’re doing well and I honestly hope you leave ESPN and move to Fox Sports. They have done you dirty for too long.
Also, shout out to Jerry Jones for threatening to bench players that do not stand for the flag but kneeled three weeks ago! Thanks for telling your team that your money is more important than their freedoms, opinions, and remorse for those that have died at the hands of racial inequality, you worm.