ESPN host Jemele Hill took to Twitter Monday evening, and called President Trump a “white supremacist.” On Tuesday, the cable sports network responded with the equivalent of slap on the wrist, for the SportsCenter host’s comment.
On September 12, ESPN released a statement revealing that Hill will not be punished for her statement.
“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN,” the network said in its statement, “We have addressed this with Jemele, and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate:”
ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/3kfexjx9zQ
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017
This light slap on the wrist came after Hill’s September 11 tweet attacking the president. “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” She tweeted:
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
Hill’s tweet is a serious charge. Indeed, ESPN and other sports networks have fired conservative employees for political speech. Mike Ditka, Curt Schilling, Craig James, and other conservative employees were almost instantly fired for far less inflammatory statements.
Yet, ESPN seems to have given Hill a pass on her behavior. Instead of firing her, it appears she was given only a stern talking to.
Last year, for instance, conservatives such as former Chicago Bears great Mike Ditka was removed from ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, after he said that Barack Obama was the worst president in history.
Former Boston Red Sox star Curt Schilling was similarly dismissed by ESPN’s bosses after several conservative-minded posts to social media, the last one concerning the debate over transgenderism.
Though not fired by ESPN, Craig James also lost his sports hosting job over conservative views. James later filed a lawsuit against Fox Sports for his firing.
Meanwhile, Hill’s comments, despite being far more severe and lacking in any kind of proof or evidence. Seem to have barely even registered in Bristol. Yet, ESPN’s double standard might even be more evident in how they handled the Linda Cohn situation. Veteran ESPN personality Linda Cohn said in an interview on the Bernie & Sid Show, that she felt politics played a role in the loss of subscribers and revenues at ESPN which led to the massive layoffs at the network last April.
According to Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage, sources tell him that Cohn was told not to come to work by ESPN President John skipper, for making the mere suggestion that ESPN had become too political. It’s important to note, Cohn didn’t actually say anything political, she just suggested that the network talked too much about politics, and that was a “percentage” of the problems which led to the layoffs.
For that, according to Travis’ sources, Cohn was told by Skipper to not come to work, and to “think about what she said.”
Yet, while Cohn gets suspended for that relatively minor, non-political offense. Hill gets absolutely nothing for calling Trump a racist.
Actions like this make it difficult for ESPN to continue to fight charges that it has strayed too far to the left.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.