Jemele Hill’s ESPN suspension comes to an end next week and it seems like forever since she went off the air as a result of her Twitter behavior. Since the suspension came down, President Donald Trump has tweeted about Hill by name and there has even been speculation that the SportsCenter anchor could be on her way out at ESPN in the near future.
Now, though, Hill has finally weighed in and it comes through the form of an interview with TMZ Sports.
The full interview can be seen above but, in response to a question about the fairness of her suspension, Hill had this to say:
“So, here’s how this works: It doesn’t really matter what I think. It matters to people, but here’s the reality: ESPN acted what they felt was right, and, you know, I don’t have any argument or quibble with that. I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy; I deserved that suspension.”
The indication that Hill “deserved the suspension” is certainly an intriguing one, even in light of her apparent understanding of the letter of the law in Bristol. Hill then went on to say that her relationship with the network will be in a “good, healthy place” upon her return but she wasn’t done there. In short, Hill indicated that she will “never take back” the comments she made.
“The only thing I’ll ever apologize for is, I put ESPN in a bad spot. I’ll never take back what I said. I put them in a bad spot, that’s the truth of it. I regret the position I put them in. I regret, a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I’ll never take back what I said so you can take that to mean what it means.”
Hill’s initial comments calling President Trump a “white supremacist” did not garner her a suspension from the network, though ESPN did publicly admonish the comments. Hill’s comments a couple of weeks later suggesting that football viewers should considering a boycotting over the NFL’s reaction to kneeling during the anthem is actually what earned the suspension, with ESPN citing that Hill had violated the company’s social media guidelines.
It will be very interesting to see if there is any on-air reference to Hill’s suspension or time away when she returns but, as of this weekend, she has spoken out on the record concerning her absence.
(H/T Sports Illustrated)