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After ESPN Suspension, Jemele Hill Assures Everyone, “I’ll Never Take Back What I Said” – Nor Should She


After using her Twitter account to advocate a boycott against the Dallas Cowboys and tell the truth about Donald Trump’s connection to white supremacy, Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN for two weeks. Tomorrow (Monday), Hill returns to work – and while she’s sorry for putting her colleagues “in a bad spot,” she’s also sure of one thing: “I’ll never take back what I said.”

A videographer with TMZ Sports caught up with Hill in an airport to ask her a few questions. “Do you feel that you were treated fairly by the network?” he asked.

“So, here’s how this works,” Hill answered with a smile. “It doesn’t really matter what I think.”

She followed up more earnestly, conceding that she put ESPN “in a bad spot,” and they did “what they felt was right.” She understands why the network suspended her – but that doesn’t mean she’s sorry for what she said. “I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension,” she said to TMZ. “I deserved it. Like, I violated the policy. I deserve that suspension. Going forward, we’ll be in a good, healthy place…The only thing I ever apologized for is that I put ESPN in a bad spot. I’ll never take back what I said.”

“That’s the truth of it,” she continued. “I regret the position I put [ESPN] in. I regret, [for] a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I will never take back what I said.”

Hill first came under fire from conservative talk show hosts and, most egregiously, the White House Press Secretary after she tweeted some basic truths about Donald Trump’s politics.

(Trump’s connection to white supremacy has been noted by dozens of other commentators, but the White House only screamed for a firing when Hill – a black woman – made the observation. Yup, totally no racism to see here, folks!)

About a month later, Hill then spoke out against Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, who banned Cowboys players from kneeling during the national anthem to protest police racism and brutality. She advocated for an advertiser boycott, arguing that Jones had placed an “unfair burden” on his players, forcing black and brown players who care about racial injustice “to choos[e] football over the community they represent.”

After the Cowboys tweets, ESPN announced a two-week suspension of Hill for “violation of our social media guidelines.”

As Hill herself notes, ESPN was within their contractual rights to suspend Hill for her tweets – but she’s doubly right that she shouldn’t take any of it back. Donald Trump is indeed a white supremacist surrounded by other white supremacists, and Jerry Jones was unfairly restricting his players’ speech in order to appease a bunch of racists. What she tweeted might’ve been inconvenient for her employer, but it was true.

When Hill returns to ESPN, she’ll still keep things honest. “I’m coming back to Twitter,” she said. “I want people to understand this: there was never any restrictions placed on me about Twitter, so…I’ll be back on Twitter, and I’ll be my usual self.”

We’re all glad to hear it.

(Via Daily Dot; image via Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

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