There’s finally something liberals and conservatives can agree on: they both want to boycott ESPN. After the Bristol-based sports giant suspended SC6 host Jemele Hill, many liberals have begun their own boycott of ESPN.
Hill caused quite a ruckus last month, when she tweeted that President Donald Trump is a “white supremacist.”
Network bosses soon warned Hill that the tweet violated the company’s rules of conduct for using social media. However, she was not punished in any material way despite the fact that the network fired almost half a dozen conservative hosts and analysts for far less.
Yet, Hill proved herself unmindful of the warning a month later, by posting a series of tweets that essentially urged fans to boycott ESPN’s own advertisers and partners. This time network bosses took action and handed Hill a two-week suspension.
As the story appeared across the media, liberals in and out of the sports world went to bat for Hill with hundreds of social media posts coming to her support and demanding that ESPN reverse its decision to punish her.
Mixed-in with those tweets of support, many other liberals threatened a boycott of the sports network.
Leading that charge was MSNBC host and long-time activist Al Sharpton who warned ESPN that advertisers “will hear from us.”
ESPN's suspension of Jemele Hill is an outrage and should NOT go unanswered. ESPN and advertisers will hear from us!
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) October 9, 2017
While it is easy to dismiss Sharpton for his ubiquitous threats and perpetual boycotts, he was far from alone with his threats.
Naturally, the New York Daily News’ purported “social justice writer,” Shaun King, also attacked ESPN for the suspension by complaining that Hill was being punished for “being Black and thoughtful while at ESPN.”
Jemele Hill was basically suspended for being Black and thoughtful while at ESPN. Her suspension is completely outrageous.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 9, 2017
As BizPacReview noted, many more from Hollywood and elsewhere soon joined the effort to urge boycotts of the cable network:
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) October 10, 2017
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 9, 2017
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 9, 2017
Jemele Hill is right. #BoycottNFL
— Guy Debord Shorts (@cranstonl1972) October 9, 2017
These are threats ESPN doesn’t need. By some measure it has already lost 13 million subscribers over six years and is down another nine percent this year alone.
The Jemele Hill situation wasn’t the only one that brought liberals to a sports boycott. Other liberals jumped to Twitter to urge a boycott of the NFL over Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent letter attempting to get players to stop their national anthem protests and to stand for the song:
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) October 10, 2017
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.