ESPN buys out Jemele Hill's contract

Jemele Hill is out at ESPN, almost exactly a year after calling President Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter. From the NY Post:

The marriage between ESPN and Hill — the controversial sports commentator who waded into politics and sparred with President Donald Trump — has long been stuck in irreconcilable differences. Since leaving “SportsCenter” earlier this year, she has barely worked, making a divorce the obvious conclusion.

A buyout of her reported $2.5 million per year contract has been completed and her last day will be Friday, according to sources…

It is quite simple as to why the buyout happened: Hill wants to continue her involvement in politics, and ESPN wants out of politics…

Despite the company’s policy, Hill incessantly tweeted about politics, even as she barely contributed to the network’s content in recent months, save a few columns for ESPN’s Undefeated website and some guest appearances on shows.

ESPN didn’t suspend Hill for her political tweets about Trump last year, but a few weeks later it did suspend her for promoting a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys (also on Twitter). At the end of that brief suspension, Hill refused to retract anything she had said but agreed that she deserved the suspension for putting the network in a bad position. That was last October. By January of 2018, Hill was out of her spot co-hosting an hour of Sports Center.

Hill was moved over to The Undefeated, an ESPN blog about sports and politics. The official story at the time was that this dramatic change had nothing to do with her prior suspension. In the seven months since she left the co-hosting gig, she has published 16 pieces at The Undefeated, about two per month. Here’s a recent sample:

I could rattle off a number of incidents where White Fear Weaponized led to tragic results for people of color, but let’s not be naive and think for a moment that some of those who use their fear as a weapon don’t realize the gravity of their actions. It’s no secret how people of color have been treated by some law enforcement and the criminal justice system in this country. They know there is at least a puncher’s chance that if they call the police on us, we will be dealt with severely, humiliated and criminalized.

If Officer Johnny cracks us upside the head that’s fine, because maybe then we will learn to stay in our place.

Two pieces a month probably made Hill’s $2.5 million annual salary a bit difficult to justify. But her brand of woke commentary is a growth industry on the left. I’m surprised MSNBC (or CNN) hasn’t offered her some sort of gig already. I very much doubt this is the last we’ll hear of Jemele Hill.

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