In an unforeseen move this past week, it was officially announced that ESPN analyst Jemele Hill has been placed on a two-week suspension for what the network has referred to as a 2nd violation of the company’s social media guidelines. The decision was handed down following a Twitter rant last week regarding the current NFL debacle vs. President Donald Trump, which surrounds the protest of the National Anthem. The suspension was in response to remarks Hill made about Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, stating, “Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about J.J.’s statement boycott his advertisers.” She also went on to say “Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.” Hill’s flurry of remarks followed Jones’s initial demands, indicating that if players on his team did not stand for the flag, they would be benched. The SC6 anchor was already in hot water after her fiery tweet calling the President a “White Supremacist” went viral last month. As expected, Trump as well as his White House affiliates clapped back, calling Hill’s claims “ridiculous and a fireable offense.”
So was Hill out of line in her approach? Or was ESPN simply trying to save face? Quite frankly, Jemele Hill’s statements did hold some validity. People know this. But the fact that she has taken a stand in such a manner has placed good old ESPN and their billion-dollar endorsers in a tough predicament.
Granted, producers did go on record to say the network did warn Hill the first time around that a 2nd violation would possibly result in disciplinary action. (So they claim) However, the outspoken anchor chose to speak her mind anyway. Although her comments were not directed towards the NFL specifically, they were not taken well.
When it’s all said and done, Jemele Hill loses out the most in this state of affairs. “Shut up little black girl, or go find another job,” was essentially the message sent. Because while I’m sure many commend her courage and bravery, it is all in vain when it comes to that almighty dollar. And at the end of the day, that is all this boils down to: the network losing the big money above them. And when you start getting in the way of that, you become a liability and no longer an asset. No matter what the cause is.
However, we feel you Jemele. Please believe your message was heard loud and clear! (Colin Kaepernick is somewhere proud).
But truth be told, this dilemma is bigger than Jemele Hill. This is not an ESPN issue. Or an NFL issue. This is a humanity issue. And in the brilliant recent cypher trashing of President Trump, Detroit-native and rap star, Eminem, simply stated it the best.
“America… Stand up!!!”
– Deshonna Watson