Former ESPN host Jemele Hill will join The Atlantic, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg announced on Monday.
Goldberg said Hill would be covering “the intersection of sports, race, politics, gender, and culture for us.”
“Jemele is a wonderfully talented journalist who is famous for her acute commentary, fearless writing and encyclopedic knowledge of sports,” he continued in a statement.
“But what drew us to Jemele in particular is her deep commitment to reporting,” Goldberg continued. “There are a million stories to be uncovered at the intersection where sports, race, money and politics meet, and Jemele is the exact right person to do this uncovering, and The Atlantic is the exact right home for this sort of journalism.”
Though she commands a cult following, Hill is a controversial choice and has long been a lightning rod for conservative criticism. During her time at ESPN, Hill first stoked outrage after tweeting out her belief last September that President Trump was a “white supremacist,” and the most “ignorant offensive president” of her lifetime.
The statement made her an instant #resistance icon, but drew scorn elsewhere and earned an official rebuke from ESPN, which distanced themselves from the remarks and called them “inappropriate.”
ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/3kfexjx9zQ
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017
The president himself took up a campaign against Hill at the time, demanding an apology and tweeting out to his fans that ESPN’s ratings were taking a hit as a result of their anti-Trump politicization.
“ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!,” he said at the time. And though Hill’s show “SC6” didn’t take a ratings dive, she parted from the network in August 2018.
After reaping a cash infusion from tech billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs, The Atlantic has been on a hiring spree, snapping up high profile and emerging talent. The growth however has not always been smooth. After initially hiring away Kevin Williamson from National Review, Goldberg and The Atlantic unceremoniously fired him.