A few months ago MSESPN employee Jemele Hill took to Twitter to accuse Donald Trump of being a white supremacist. She also said that Trump’s cabinet and the White House employees were racist and that Trump was only elected president because he was white.
The comments led MSESPN to announce a new policy for political commentary from on air talent — henceforth all political commentary had to be related to sports.
On Friday Hill, who was effectively forced out at SportsCenter after a year of disastrous ratings, completed her SportsCenter tenure.
Now a day later Hill, who claimed the decision to leave the show was hers despite not realizing ESPN’s top executives had been praying she’d leave the company for months, is firing back — appearing on the Reverend Al Sharpton’s MSNBC television show which will air tomorrow on Super Bowl Sunday.
You’ll remember that the last time we heard anything from Sharpton in the world of sports — it was when he threatened to lead a boycott of ESPN if they chose to discipline Hill for her comments calling Donald Trump a white supremacist.
Let’s pause her for a moment and consider Hill’s decision. The moment she was forced out at ESPN’s SportsCenter she went straight from the ESPN studios to be a guest on an MSNBC program hosted by Al Sharpton called Politics Nation. The same Al Sharpton who had previously threatened to boycott ESPN if they disciplined her for insulting Donald Trump.
— PoliticsNation (@PoliticsNation) February 3, 2018
And while a guest on that show she chose to directly comment on politics from a partisan perspective. And not just to comment on politics, but to essentially reiterate her opinion that Trump is a racist and his supporters are racist too.
I mean, come on, she chose to go on MSNBC and say this?! This is literally MSNBC and ESPN becoming the same network on Super Bowl Sunday.
It’s like she’s trying to make me as much money as she possibly can and prove me right at every turn.
For that, I salute her.
Furthermore, I have to express respect for the balls of this move — it’s literally impossible for Hill to have demonstrated her contempt for ESPN and the company’s political rules more concretely than by making the decision to go on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show and double down on her Donald Trump’s a racist comments.
We don’t know the full content of the interview, but we do that MSNBC considers what she said newsworthy enough that they released an early transcript of some of those comments. And here is that excerpt according to The Sporting News:
AL SHARPTON: How do you feel when you heard the president in a State of the Union address still take a shot at people that are standing up about injustices?
JEMELE HILL: I wasn’t surprised and I think this is going to be — a probably, a constant thing for the president because it’s a very easy dog whistle, it’s low hanging fruit, it’s what I like to call “racial pornography,” because it’s a way to stoke his base.
Ah, yes, because only racists could possibly believe Americans should stand for the national anthem.
ESPN, which just saw its own politics policy dunked on, already issued a comment, saying, and I’m not making this up, that Hill is allowed to call the president and his supporters racists because she was talking about the national anthem.
“The anthem is a sports issue,” ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys told The Sporting News Saturday when asked for comment about Hill’s MSNBC interview.
But did ESPN even watch the State of the Union address? Trump addressed standing for the national anthem via a 12 year old boy’s charity work to provide flags for the graves of over 40,000 veterans.
Here’s that clip from the State of the Union if you haven’t seen it:
Calling this a sports related comment from Trump is a pretty expansive definition of sports.
Donald Trump doesn’t think that only athletes should stand for the national anthem, he thinks everyone should. And how strange of a place are we in this country where, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, IT’S CONSIDERED RACIST TO BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOULD STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!
Because according to MSESPN employee Jemele Hill wanting people of all races and creeds to stand for the national anthem is now racial pornography.
A position which MSESPN just endorsed via their statement above which somehow considers this contorted ass position to be sports-related.
As always, MSESPN gonna MSESPN, y’all.