Jemele Hill and ESPN Get It Over With: Report

Jemele Hill speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 22, 2018, in New York City.
Jemele Hill speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 22, 2018, in New York City.
Photo: Matthew Eisman (Getty Images for Ozy Media)

Jemele Hill, a black woman who remained so while on television, had a rough go of it at ESPN in the fallout of calling Donald Trump, a sho nuff white supremacist, just that. She’s reportedly set to completely sever ties with the company at the beginning of September.


Hill’s commentary is just too direct for folks who claim to love when folks tell it like it is. For them, being blunt is ok when it comes to Trump spewing alternative facts on immigration and “illegals” but not so much when it comes to black lives and the first amendment.

After her slot on the 6 p.m. broadcast of Sports Center with co-host, Michael Smith, was canceled, Hill remained with the network as a columnist at the Undefeated, a sports, race and culture site owned by the company.

Variety reports that Hill is believed to have met recently with new ESPN President James Pitaro, whose vision of the network, according to Deadspin, is to “neuter it and lay submissively at the feet of Roger Goodell.”

The site said the relationship spiraled in light of Hill’s direct, clear indictment and commentary on sports, culture and politics.

Hill ran afoul of ESPN’s constitutional cowardice at least twice in the last year, and that was before Pitaro showed his belly to NFL owners and MAGA chuds on Monday. The first was for using her Twitter account to say something factually true about our senile amoral grifter of a President; and later she was suspended for two weeks for observing that boycotts are an effective form of protest. She remains deeply unpopular with both the “stick to sports” crowd and the “black people are the real racists” crowd—that Venn diagram is nearly a perfect circle—and earlier this summer Fox News spent a whole segment doing a touchdown dance over a wet dream of Hill being fired by ESPN. Her departure will be met by relief from NFL owners and huzzahs from the very worst people on earth. Hopefully she’ll find her way to a role with a company that hasn’t dedicated itself to courting favor with those two hideous groups of people.


In addition to the Undefeated, Hill was also supposed to contribute to a number of programs on the network: documentaries the E:60 news magazine, and, a “His & Hers” podcast, says Variety.

There was no direct comment from Hill’s camp or ESPN.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



She needed to go. No reason a black woman with talent should provide cover on that network just so they can claim “diverse” voices when in fact they do not. They are heavy on east coast 30-60 year old white men and black male ex athletes who sprew crap most of the time. She’s far too talented for them and I hope she lands in a much better place.