You can take the girl out of ESPN television, but you can’t take the ESPN television out of the girl.
Despite having been suspended for trying to organize a political, corporate boycott of the Dallas Cowboys, in addition to losing her co-hosting job on SC6 due to her constant leftist activism, ESPN’s Jemele Hill is back at it again.
According to Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News, Hill appeared on the Sunday edition of Al Sharpton’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, where, not surprisingly, people discuss politics. An issue that ESPN has gone to great lengths to discourage Hill, and other ESPN personalities, from addressing on “public-facing forums.”
According to transcripts provided by MSNBC, Hill accused Trump of using “racial pornography,” to stoke his base:
SHARPTON: How do you feel when you heard the president in a State of the Union address still take a shot at people that are standing up about injustices?
HILL: I wasn’t surprised and I think this is going to be — a probably, a constant thing for the president because it’s a very easy dog whistle, it’s low hanging fruit, it’s what I like to call “racial pornography,” because it’s a way to stoke his base.
At this point, it’s fair to speculate that Hill is actively trying to get fired from ESPN. The Bristol-based sports giant could not have been more clear, in their desire for talent to avoid political statements. The mere fact that Hill agreed to appear on a show called PoliticsNation, hosted by a notoriously divisive figure in Sharpton, is extremely suspicious.
Though, Hill and Sharpton could be engaged in a bit of political rope-a-dope.
Sharpton threatened to lead boycotts and protests of ESPN if the network suspended her for calling President Trump a “white supremacist.” Though it’s impossible to know, Hill may have agreed to go on Sharpton’s show, believing that ESPN would be unlikely to fire or discipline her due to Sharpton’s high-profile and ability to organize boycotts.
This explanation also makes sense considering that Hill would have had to get permission from ESPN to do the interview in the first place. Had ESPN denied Hill the ability to do the interview, then Sharpton would have blasted the network on his program and through his National Action Network. Given Sharpton’s ability to agitate, ESPN could have regarded Hill’s appearance on Sharpton’s show as, “protected speech.”
According to The Big Lead, “McCarthy notes that an ESPN spokesperson said, when asked about Hill’s MSNBC interview, that “The anthem is a sports issue.” So, it doesn’t appear as though her ESPN tenure will end imminently — also, weren’t Jerry Jones and the Cowboys also a sports issue? — but she continues to make it clear that if it comes down to it her priority is voicing her unfiltered opinions over remaining at the company for the long run.”
Still, while the anthem might be a sports issue, one would think accusing the president of “racist pornography,” might fall outside the lines of normal sports/anthem discourse.
Then again, it’s ESPN.