ESPN suspends Jemele Hill for anthem tweets

The White House previously demanded Hill be fired.

Jemele Hill, anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter, speaks on stage on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in New York. (Steve Luciano/AP Images for Hashtag Sports)
Jemele Hill, anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter, speaks on stage on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in New York. (Steve Luciano/AP Images for Hashtag Sports)

ESPN has suspended SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill for a series of tweets about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. On Sunday, Jones said that any Cowboys player who did not stand for the national anthem would not be allowed to play.

Hill was responding to angry fans who were encouraging the Cowboys’ star players to test Jones’ resolve. Hill countered that this was an unfair burden to put on the players and if fans objected, they should act.

Hill later clarified that she was not advocating a boycott of Cowboy’s advertisers, but making the point that fans should not place the burden on the players alone.

ESPN, nevertheless, has suspended Hill for two weeks, saying the tweets violated their social media policy.

The White House has previously called for Hill’s firing after she tweeted that President Trump was a “white supremacist.”

It is unclear how Hill’s tweets violate ESPN’s social media policy because the policy allows for political commentary related to sports.

In 2014, ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for one week for suggesting women need to be careful to not provoke domestic violence.

ThinkProgress reported exclusively in September that ESPN attempted to remove Hill from the air after her tweet about Trump but was thwarted after her co-host Michael Smith and others refused to go on the air without her.

An ESPN spokesperson tells ThinkProgress that Michael Smith will not appear on tonight’s 6PM SportsCenter. According to ESPN, he will return tomorrow.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.