WATCH: Jemele Hill Says Olympic Rules ‘Disproportionately Impact Athletes of Color’

Jemele Hill
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Atlantic writer and former ESPN host Jemele Hill insisted on Sunday that Olympic rules tend to “disproportionately” hurt “athletes of color.”

Hill made her comments during an interview with CBS This Morning on Sunday accusing the rules governing the conduct of Olympic athletes of being discriminatory.

The columnist commented on a recently invoked rule by the International Olympics Committee that prevented the use of a swimming cap specifically designed for the hairstyles of blacks.

Last week, for instance, Hill attacked the IOC in a Friday tweet saying that the games are “really are sending quite the message to black women” since the ban of the swim caps and the sanctions against runner Sha’Carri Richardson, who has been given a suspension for marijuana use.

During her visit with CBS This Morning, though, Hill insisted that the black athlete is the “face of the games” for Americans because of Simone Biles, Gwen Berry, Sha’Carri Richardson, and the swim cap decision.

As to the swim cap, Olympic authorities banned the used of the bulkier “Soul Cap” made specifically to encapsulate black hair styles because, in the words of the rules, swim caps must “fit the natural form of the head,” not the hair.

As far as Hill is concerned, these rules are unfair to black athletes.

“Now you have this swim cap ban that obviously affects athletes of color, obviously is an impediment to young black swimmers,” she told CBS. “And so, there is something that is there—and you wonder about these old school attitudes and how they have always, in many ways, disproportionately impacted athletes of color, but in particular black people because that’s who we’re talking about here.”

Hill has also been outspoken in her criticisms of playing the Star-Spangled Banner. Earlier this year, for instance, Hill defended the idea of canceling the national anthem because patriotism has been “weaponized” against blacks and the anthem contains “racist” lyrics.

She also urged authorities to use every trick they can find to prosecute Trump, his associates, and supporters now that he is out of office. And she even directly spoke against the idea of trying to “reach out” to her Trump-voting opponents because whites who voted for Trump are irredeemably racist.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.