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ESPN says Jemele Hill knows her Trump tweets 'were inappropriate,' but they remain on her Twitter feed

ESPN is distancing itself from tweets sent Monday by Jemele Hill, in which the SportsCenter anchor called President Trump a white supremacist and a bigot.

The company said in a statement Tuesday that Hill’s tweets about Trump “do not represent the position of ESPN.”

Hill’s tweets were preceded by a discussion with other Twitter users about singer Kid Rock, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan.

“He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people,” Hill tweeted of Kid Rock.

The conversation eventually turned to Trump, and Hill didn’t hold back.

In its statement on Tuesday, ESPN said that Hill “recognizes her actions were inappropriate.” The tweets have remained on Hill’s Twitter feed and she was, on “SportsCenter” as usual on Tuesday evening.

Hill addressed “the elephant in the room” Wednesday by tweeting: “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light.”

Soon after, ESPN issued this statement: "Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN. She has acknowledged that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology."

During a news conference Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she didn’t know whether Trump was aware of Hill’s tweets.

“But I think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


UPDATES:

8:45 a.m.: This article was updated with a statement issued by ESPN on Wednesday.

7:10 a.m. Sept. 14: This article was updated with a tweet that Jemele Hill posted Wednesday.

1:10 p.m. Sept. 13: This article was updated with a comment from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This article was originally published at 8:50 a.m. Sept. 13.

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