Michael Smith to Sit Out Tonight’s ‘SC6’ After Jemele Hill Suspension

He’ll return tomorrow, TheWrap has learned

Jemele Hill and Michael Smith ESPN
Jemele Hill, right, and Michael Smith (ESPN)

Forget Jemele Hill, even Michael Smith won’t be anchoring ESPN’s “SC6” tonight, which is the 6 o’clock edition of “SportsCenter.”

The male anchor’s decision was a “mutual” one between he and the network, TheWrap is told. Smith’s co-host Hill was suspended for two weeks today for a second violation of ESPN’s social media policy.

The duo is pictured above on the set of their old ESPN show, “His & Hers.” The “His” of that former debate program will return for Tuesday’s “SC6,” we’re told.

On Sunday, Hill had used Twitter to call for a boycott of Dallas Cowboys-advertisers after team owner Jerry Jones demanded his players stand for the national anthem or be benched. That didn’t go over well with her employer.

“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said in a statement. “She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company do with an impulsive tweet.”

That line referred to her calling President Trump a “white supremacist” a few weeks back. She had some unkind things to say about his supporters as well, though Hill got off with just a warning.

“In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences,” the Monday statement continued. “Hence this decision.”

Read Hill’s Cowboys tweets here.

It feels worth pointing out that ESPN is a key business partner of the National Football League, and the Cowboys are the league’s most valuable franchise. Dallas was recently on the network’s “Monday Night Football,” which drew huge TV ratings.

As a matter of fact, that was the very week the “Star-Spangled Banner” boycott was at its buzziest. Before their national anthem opportunity, Jones and his team kneeled together, locking arms. They all stood for the actual song.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started this whole #TakeAKnee thing last August, when he began quietly sitting out the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality in this country. The whole thing exploded this season when Donald Trump called for protesting NFL players to be released from their teams.