ESPN has suspended “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill for two weeks after she suggested on Twitter that fans unhappy with statements by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones boycott the team’s advertisers and stop buying merchandise.
Jones said Sunday that players who “disrespect the flag” won’t get to play.
In a statement announcing Hill’s suspension, ESPN referenced an incident last month in which Hill apologized for using Twitter to express her belief that President Trump is a white supremacist and a bigot. ESPN accepted Hill’s apology at the time. Days later, network President John Skipper issued a memo telling employees to avoid “inflammatory” comments on social media.
“She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet,” the company stated Monday. “In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”
ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz told Deadspin that Hill was suspended for tweets about a potential boycott of Cowboys advertisers. On Sunday evening, Hill got into a lengthy discussion with other Twitter users about Jones’ comments. She stated that Cowboys fans need to get involved to take some of the burden off the players.
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.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
Then she starts suggesting ways to do so.
Don't ask Dak, Dez & other Cowboys players to protest. A more powerful statement is if you stop watching and buying their merchandise.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
And then, at least from ESPN’s perspective, she went too far.
The next day, she attempted to clafify her statements.
Just so we're clear: I'm not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017