BRISTOL, Conn. — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that sports anchor Jemele Hill could justifiably be fired from ESPN for tweets calling President Trump a “white supremacist” and “bigot.”
“I think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fire-able offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.
Sanders said she wasn’t sure whether the president was aware of Hill’s comments.
In a tweeted Wednesday night, Hill said, “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”
The National Association of Black Journalists said in a statement that it “supports Hill’s First Amendment rights on all matters of discussion, within and outside the world of sports, as they do not impinge on her duties as a host and commentator.”
On Monday night, in a series of exchanges with other Twitter users, Hill said, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”
Hill, an African-American co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of “SportsCenter,” added that, “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”
In another tweet, she said, “Donald Trump is a bigot,” and went on to criticize his supporters, adding, “The height of white privilege is being able to ignore his white supremacy, because it’s of no threat to you. Well, it’s a threat to me.”
ESPN distanced itself from Hill’s tweets Tuesday.
“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN,” the network tweeted from its public relations department’s account. “We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Disney-owned ESPN didn’t elaborate on any possible punishment for Hill, and she was on “SportsCenter” as usual Tuesday and Wednesday.
While many Twitter users called for Hill to be fired, unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick expressed his support, tweeting “We are with you jemelehill.”
Kaepernick, who remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, received plenty of criticism – and support -…