After sports personality Jemele Hill called Donald Trump a ‘White Supremacist’ on Twitter Monday, her employer ESPN has sent out a statement Tuesday saying her views didn’t reflect those of the network.
Many of the charges Hill made against Trump are unfortunately true. That doesn’t change the fact the sports network needs Trump-loving fans.
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch, in the history of America,” John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3. Just the day before, the resolution for American independence had passed a committee on which Adams served; he believed the committee vote should “be commemorated, as the day of deliverance” in which future Americans took part in “shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward evermore.”
It was thus that “games” and “sports” were forever intertwined with the very idea of America itself. And as much as fans of differing political ideologies try to keep sports and politics separate, they keep crashing into one another even 241 years after Adams’ declaration.
Last Monday, host of ESPN’s SportsCenter Jemele Hill went on an extended Twitter tirade, accusing President Trump of being a “white supremacist,” arguing that Trump’s rise was the “direct result of white supremacy.” In responding to a commenter, Hill wrote that “Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn’t, because I cared about more than just myself.”
Naturally, Hill’s tweets riled Trump supporters, who believed she was calling them white supremacists. By Wednesday, even the president’s spokeswoman called Hill’s words a “fireable offense.” (In fairness, pro-Trumpers, who are fond of mocking “snowflakes,” are quick to perform a theatrical Manu Ginobili-syle flop when challenged about their beliefs.) On Tuesday, ESPN issued a flaccid response merely saying Hill’s actions had been “inappropriate,” and on Wednesday night Hill issued a statement saying her comments “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”
Surely, Hill is perfectly within her rights to think whatever she wants. Many of the charges she made…