Jemele Hill Suspension: Twitter Takes a Knee Over ESPN Decision

“Nothing gets ESPN more nervous than an employee going after the almighty NFL,” one media member writes

Jemele Hill espnW
Photo by Robby Klein / ESPN Images

ESPN’s decision to suspend Jemele Hill after she called for a boycott of Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers isn’t playing well in some social media circles.

Support for Hill has spread beyond her “SC6” co-anchor Michael Smith, who is sitting out this evening’s telecast in what we’re told is a “mutual decision” with the network. Smith will return for tomorrow’s show, TheWrap is told, while Hill has two weeks to think about her next tweet.

Below are just a handful of Twitter users calling out the Disney-owned sports network for benching its “SportsCenter” anchor.

Of course, there’s always one in every crowd:

(To be fair, there were definitely more than one on Deborah’s side.)

On Sunday, Hill 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 her Cowboys-related tweets here.

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.