There simply aren’t enough ironic illustrations, to adequately express what has happened to ESPN this week. The network that has become a bastion of left-wing media activism, was protested by two different groups of leftists, angry at ESPN for suspending an activist journalist that they should have fired a month ago.
On Monday, about six protesters showed-up to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, only hours after SC6 host Jemele Hill was suspended for telling fans angry at Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, to boycott his advertisers.
According to MyRecordJournal.com, “Police were called to ESPN about 11:55 p.m. Monday, Lt. Stephen Elliott said. There were about six protesters blocking an ESPN driveway. Police told the protesters that they were on private property, and the protesters left without incident.
“Mike Soltys, a spokesman for ESPN, said the company respects “their right to protest peacefully.
“Our focus was ensuring ESPN’s normal business operations weren’t interrupted.”
On Sunday, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones told the media that if any of his players disrespected the flag, they would not play. Later that evening, Jemele Hill appeared to be giving advice to Twitter users on how best to fight back against Jones. Advice that included her telling fans to boycott Jones’ advertisers.
This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ's statement, boycott his advertisers. https://t.co/LFXJ9YQe74
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
Less than 24 hours later, Hill found herself suspended by ESPN for her second violation of the network’s social media policy. The first violation, notoriously, coming about a month ago when Hill called President Trump a ‘white supremacist.’ Though, ESPN declined to punish Hill for that violation, which likely explains why she felt perfectly safe telling people to boycott one of her network’s most important business partners.
ESPN released this statement addressing Hill’s suspension:
ESPN's Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/JkVoBVz7lv
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 9, 2017
Connecticut wasn’t the only scene of protest against ESPN. On Tuesday, another protest occurred outside the ESPN executive offices in New York City. Reverend Al Sharpton has demanded a meeting with ESPN to discuss the suspension of Hill.
On Tuesday, Sharpton said, “So, what is the basis of the suspension? Is it that ESPN and the NFL is being pressured by the administration when you had a president tweeting about the NFL’s non-profit status?”
The president tweets a lot, however, Trump’s most recent tweet referencing the the NFL’s generous tax arrangement, came after Hill’s suspension, not before. Though, that need not concern here.
To answer Sharpton’s question directly, Hill was suspended for her second violation of ESPN’s social media policy against political statements on social media. She was speaking with fans about a political matter, Jerry Jones’ statement that his players would get benched if they protested, and she gave them advice on how to hurt Jones’ business.
Therefore, she was in flagrant violation of the company’s policy and ESPN was well-within their rights to suspend her. Of course, they would have been well-within their rights to suspend Hill a month ago after she called the president a white supremacist.
But hey, better late than never.