ESPN host Jemele Hill was suspended for two weeks after suggesting various ways in which upset fans could boycott the Dallas Cowboys. Today TMZ Sports caught up with her and asked about her ongoing relationship with ESPN:
“Me and ESPN are fine,” Hill said. Asked if she was treated fairly by the network, she replied, “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. Going forward we’ll be in a good healthy place, it’ll be fine and I’m looking forward to it.”
Hill added, “The only thing I ever apologize for, I put ESPN in a bad spot; I’ll never take back what I said.” She declined when offered a chance to expound on how she feels about President Trump, only saying that he already knows.
Hill wasn’t suspended after calling Trump a white supremacist. She was suspended after her comments mentioning a boycott of Dallas Cowboys’ sponsors. After her suspension was announced, some commentators like the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote that ESPN didn’t deserve her and suggested there was nothing wrong with what she had said, at least nothing worthy of a suspension. It seems Hill herself disagrees with that assessment. While she’s not retracting her statements, she knows she put her network in a bad position and crossed a line even if her fans in the media do not.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Hill’s future with ESPN was said to be in the hands of Disney’s Bob Iger. It was expected Iger would be very hesitant to fire Hill given that he is rumored to be weighing a possible run for President on the Democratic ticket in 2020. Firing Hill would have put him on the wrong side of some far-left agitators like Al Sharpton who protested her suspension. By patching things up, Iger retains some credibility with the far left.
Here’s a portion of the TMZ Sports interview. If you want to watch the full 9-minute interview, it’s here. Hill returns to her show on ESPN Monday.