ESPN has yet another controversy on its hands, merely weeks after the nation’s premier sports network found itself in hot water after reassigning an Asian American correspondent from covering a football game simply because he happened to share his birth-name with the head general of the defeated Confederacy Robert E. Lee. This time the network is under fire from right-wingers angry that one of the network’s anchors, an African American woman named Jemele Hill who co-hosts the prime-time Sports Center, stated on Twitter what much of the country already knows to be true: that President Donald J. Trump is a “bigot” and a “white supremacist.” In doing so Hill has now made a slew of enemies in high places such as the White House, which reportedly wants her axed from the network permanently.
So what exactly did the tweets consist of that right-wingers and the Trump administration find so objectionable? Let’s have a look:
There doesn’t appear to be anything in these tweets that isn’t 100% demonstrably true. Donald Trump’s love affair with neonazis, his courting of self-declared white supremacists, and his tendency to surround himself and fill his administration with members of the so-called ‘alt-right’ has been well-documented, as has his history of leading a high-tech public lynching of the exonerated Central Park 5. Yet ESPN is distancing itself from its star anchor, releasing an official statement declaring,
The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.
The White House is not appeased by ESPN’s statement judging by the reaction of White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, who referred to Hill’s tweets publicly as “a fireable offence by ESPN.” Huckabee-Sanders followed this by referencing Trump’s relationship with GOP Senator Tim Scott, who is also an African American, as evidence of Trump’s commitment to “the African American community.”
Regardless of what actions ESPN decides to take, what this incident has unearthed once again (as if it needed any more unearthing) is more unvarnished racism from the hordes of white supremacists in this country, who took to Twitter en masse to verbally abuse Jemele Hill with racist vitriol for all the world to see (although as of today most of these tweets have been deleted.) One of these tweets came from user @Trump20MAGA4US and stated “you are a fucking n***er who I would proudly enjoy watching hang from a tree.”
Head over to Black Sports Online for more examples.