Our latest installment in ESPN attempting to navigate the politically divisive and turbulent waters of today’s political climate came to us as the network was forced to react to a string of charged comments made by SportsCenter host, Jemele Hill. ESPN chose to handle the matter by issuing the following statement.

This may shock you to your core, but depending on your political leanings, the reactions to ESPN’s handling of Hill’s comments had a wide range of reactions.

Not longer after ESPN’s statement, Hill appeared on SC6 and didn’t mention the controversy. She also hasn’t commented on the matter on Twitter.

For many, especially right-leaning employees at ESPN, the statement was not enough — especially when considering the history of how the network has reacted to politically charged controversies that offended left-leaning individuals.

Being a communist social justice warrior (or so I’m told by anonymous Twitter accounts which commonly have the word “patriot” in their bio), I was curious to know what specific examples they could share, given apples to apples comparisons are hard to come by. Some of the usual suspects were presented, but one that did stick out was the in-house handling of Linda Cohn after comments she made on the Bernie and Sid Show, which went viral back at the end of April. Up until now, there has been no reporting of any discipline for Cohn (Clay Travis did tweet about this as I was writing this story) after she insinuated ESPN’s ratings decline was partially tied to a chunk of their core audience being turned off by talent’s forays into politics.

As told by two individuals familiar with the situation, Cohn’s comments drew the ire of John Skipper, who reportedly told Cohn to take a day off to think about how her comments affected the network. It’s not clear if this was a formal suspension but suffice to say, word of Cohn being on the receiving end of discipline from Skipper himself made the rounds in Bristol. Cohn declined to comment, while ESPN cited a policy of not commenting on private conversations about social media usage with their employees.

Cohn is extremely well respected by her colleagues at ESPN, and many believe the discipline was unwarranted and-heavy handed. Fast-forward to today, when Hill’s comments received a public rebuke but as far as we can tell, nothing else. What we now have here is potentially another controversy brewing as Travis will likely tee this up today, along with newly rebranded conservative martyr, Britt McHenry, who also chimed in with some anecdotes of uneven policing by ESPN in terms of political social media commentary.

Although Cohn’s comments on a radio show commenting on the effect of politics on ESPN’s business is not an apples to apples comparison to Hill’s comments on President Trump, the different outcomes the women faced was indicative for many of a double standard being applied from ESPN management.

Given the uproar to the Robert Lee story, I’d say it’s even money right now that Travis and McHenry reunite on Tucker Carlson tonight. Travis appeared Tuesday night to discuss Hill’s comments, but it’s possible the Cohn revelation may propel this into a second day of news within the conservative media ecosystem.

Clay Travis appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson and Britt McHenry.

Whether you believe Hill was just stating the truth about President Trump or you were deeply offended by her comments, this is now the terrible reality ESPN has to deal with and there is no end in sight from what I can tell. When Hill tweeted her comments, a suspension would have led to a controversy and uproar. The course ESPN opted to take is obviously now inciting outrage on the other side of the political spectrum.

While many within the industry were quick to vocalize their support for Hill, her comments are likely to further paint Hill and SC6 in general as left-leaning, which is one of the more vocalized complaints we hear. As SC6 looks to stem the tide of declining ratings across their studio programming and specifically in that time slot, it’s possible that the amount of waves this controversy is making could result in pushing conservative viewers further away.

It was a bit surprising and indicative of the times we live in that Hill’s comments and ESPN’s response led off the A block of Tucker Carlson (a show watched by just under 3 million viewers), given everything else of more substance going on in the news. While there are certainly individuals who believe in a political double standard at ESPN, there are also many at the company who believe the heavy featuring of Clay Travis and Jason Whitlock on Fox-owned properties to bash ESPN is likely part of a orchestrated strategy to discredit ESPN in hopes disenfranchised viewers eventually adopt FS1.

As we continue to become more politically divided, ESPN will be hard-pressed to sidestep these controversies and limit their fallout, considering how much covering these controversies has moved the needle for right-leaning media outlets. I’m not sure ESPN can do that much to mitigate cord-cutting, but whatever level of control they have in that outcome is probably much greater than their abilities to nip the growing political favoritism narrative that has increasingly become one of the more commonly cited gripes from sports fans about the network. ESPN now lives in an era where every move they make will not only be scrutinized, but any maneuvering they do internally has a chance to leak out and be dissected under the harshest light.

I think we, a large swath of sports fans, and likely ESPN all miss the days where our primary focus was making fun of Mark May, Skip Bayless, and Chris Berman. Alas, these are the times we live in.

About Ben Koo

Copying and pasting my Twitter bio. I'm also refusing (for now) to write this in the third person. This is me - EIC and CEO at @comeback_sports and @AwfulAnnouncing, world's greatest chinese jew, proud Buckeye, funny dude, and sports and digital media zealot.

  • John Danknich

    If someone at ESPN had gone on Twitter and called President Obama a closet Muslim who was in favor of Islamic jihad, do you think they’d have gotten off with a slap on wrist?

    • Christopher Bates

      Not a fair comparison. There is no evidence that Obama is a Muslim or jihadist. On the other hand, there is much evidence to support Hill’s basic assertions about Trump (even if she worded them in a particularly provocative manner). He really does enable white supremacists.

      • John Danknich

        I know there’s no evidence, but I’ll bet you can find people out there who believe it. I happen to disagree with Hill. But that’s my opinion. The difference? I’m not an employee of ESPN who goes on Twitter to say something provocative at best and outright over the line at worst about the President (and like him or not, Trump is the President).. It is her right to say things like this. No matter what some people think, we still have free speech in this country. However, as a public figure, she has to be aware there may be consequences for what she said. As much as I don’t like what she said, I’m still okay with her saying it. Why? Because of Freedom of Speech. If you take away speech you don’t agree with then what are you left with? And that goes for everyone, not just “liberals” or “conservatives.”

        • Christopher Bates

          It is her right to say this, it is not her right to say it, and then expect immunity from punishment on the part of her employer. That is not a first amendment issue.

          In any case, however, your Obama/Muslim and Trump/white supremacist comparison, as I pointed out, is apples to oranges. It does not matter what “some” people believe. Some people believe that African Americans are apes, but that doesn’t mean I can say that publicly.

      • Tom Woodall

        Wait..what ? Give me proof that Trump and (all) who voted for him are white supremist ? As Miss Hill stated….( I have watched her work for ten years on ESPN, I agree sometimes and other times I do not, that is the glory of watching and debating sports) I am not a Trump supporter, did not vote for him and would not vote for him. But, please, where is the proof that he is a white supremist and that all around him are white supremist. How would Jew Jarrod Kushner fit in the narrative ? Sick and tired of left leaning folks (which I am) claiming all white people and especially those who voted for Trump are white supremist and Nazi’s. it is a blatant lie. it is defamatory and wrong. I know little old ladies that voted for Trump that don’t even know what the words mean…….

        • Christopher Bates

          She did not say that his voters are “all” white supremacists, nor even that most of them are. I didn’t say that, either. What she said is that HE is a white supremacist, who has surrounded himself with white supremacists, and has enabled white supremacists.

          The existence of Jared Kushner–and, by the way, calling him “Jew Jarrod Kushner” does not reflect well upon you–does not contradict this. As to the “little old ladies,” I’m skeptical that there is anyone who does not know what “white supremacist” or “Nazi” means. In any case, assuming these “little old ladies” are real, their existence does not disprove Hill’s point, either.

          • Johnny America

            Guys ignore Chirstopher Bates hes a precious little snowflake whos still crying about losing the election. He’s crying in his safe space trying to find out how he will survive for the next 7.5 years. Chances are he’ll likely kill himself and we’ll all be better off for it!

          • Christopher Bates

            Do you ever worry that something is wrong with you, when you actively root for people with whom you disagree to commit suicide? I’d say that’s pretty sick in the head, myself.

            Incidentally, very slick the way you write a post, and then immediately give yourself a “like.”

            Oh, and one more thing: For someone who is “in his safe space,” at least I have the balls to post under my real name. I mean, what the hell kind of username is “Johnny America”? Are you Captain America’s illegitimate son or something?

          • Johnny America

            You are getting totally and utterly destroyed on this board you precious little snowflake. I could careless if you kill yourself but I’d say its pretty likely. We can see the way you are crying and carrying on here. You are likely gay or trans or whatever weird stuff libbies are into this week and self hating. Looking for attention.
            You’ve been in your safe space since November and I doubt you come out of it anytime soon. Have you not noticed the reaction on this site and most others are very much in support of our President? Sorry if you snowflakes can’t handle it. Go find another country to pay for your trans surgery!

          • Christopher Bates

            I am shocked–shocked, I tell you!–that someone who thinks these things are ok to say is a Trump supporter. Anyhow, enjoy your bubble; it grows smaller by the day.

            I note you didn’t “like” your own post this time. Progress!

          • brothermuzone

            Its “could not care less” genius.

          • phil

            Go tune into BET television. Or catch new episodes of Blackish on ESPNs parent network. White Supremacist apologist.

          • Christopher Bates

            Do you even know what you’re saying? Obviously, you think I am black–which I am not–and therefore should be watching “my” television programming. But then you call me a “white supremacist apologist”? Do you know what that means? Let me give you a hint, if you’re looking for a white supremacist apologist, they are not likely to have black skin. Orange hair, maybe…

          • Philip Dean Vaughn

            I called you an apologist. I know you are white. Get a grip Christopher.

          • Christopher Bates

            You called me a “White supremacist apologist.” It’s right there, just an inch or two above your reply. I think you don’t really know what that means, though. I’m not even 100% sure you know what an apologist is, actually, since it’s not clear who you think I’m apologizing for.

            Anyhow, the good news for you is that Donald Trump loves morons. He must, or he wouldn’t have so many of them surrounding him in the White House.

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        • El_Knid

          Trump’s racism has been in public record for over a decade, given how many times he’s gotten in trouble with the law for demonstrably descriminatory leasing practices in his various real estate holdings, dating back to to ’80s.

          This shouldn’t even be a politically polarizing fact. Considering he’s only been part of the GOP since the late ’00s, he was a bigoted Democrat for much longer than he’s been a bigoted Republican.

          • Tom Woodall

            Show me facts….on discriminatory leasing practices and racism (those are some inflammatory words to throw around)….we all know the stories about his father. That was a different day and time. And when I lived in NYC, I got discriminated because I didn’t have enough money to live in Manhattan. and I agree, he is more of a democrat then a conservative….so what does that tell you. your mention “trouble” are there citations or lawsuits you can list. I know he has been and has sued many times. But he has done business with people of color, he has hired people of color and he has rented to people of color. A New York Democrat being labeled bigot…..that is rich. (no pun intended)

      • phil

        Idiot

      • newdog301

        There isn’t though. There really is no proof or indication of either case. Both are outrageous claims.

        • Christopher Bates

          Seriously? While I think it probably goes too far to call Trump a “white supremacist,” there is SOME evidence for the claim. His association with Steve Bannon, his remarks after Charlottesville, his viciously anti-Mexican announcement speech, his attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, his Mexican wall, his anti-Muslim travel ban, his actions on DACA, etc. At a certain point, the question becomes, how many times do you need to engage in this behavior before the shoe begins to fit?

          • newdog301

            As someone who frequents Breitbart I can provide some insight into Bannon since I think most people actually know nothing about him and just know the beyond stupid SNL bit.

            The site is all about motivating its passionate fanbase. Yes, that includes posting articles lamenting in Megyn Kelly’s ratings so the commenters can write some disgusting things about her, and purposely posting articles about undocumented immigrant or African American criminals to rile up their users.

            But most of the site is simply about pushing what they view as an economic nationalist agenda. Bilateral trade deals, tax cuts, no government healthcare, a big army etc.

            Those views are not racist. We can debate if they are the right strategy, but they are not in favor of white people, they argue they appeal to the middle class of any group.

            Society has chosen to make it seem like the Democratic party is the only option for the non-white voter. We could spend days debating whether that is true or not, and I don’t think either really wants to get into it at the moment. To summarize though, if you dig a little deeper into things and don’t just read a few tweets you’ll see that just because you disagree with someone does not make them a white supremacist.

          • Christopher Bates

            I’m not suggesting that everyone who disagrees with me is a white supremacist. I disagree with George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and John McCain about most things, but that does not mean I think any of them are white supremacists.

            However, just because someone is white supremacist, or just generally racist, does not mean everything that they say/do/write espouses that ideology. In fact, it’s usually just a small percentage, But a small percentage is enough. And Breitbart does run a fair number of dog-whistle racist pieces.

          • newdog301

            I think the issue you’re hinting at is a problem of the partisan country we live in though.

            Look at some of the tweets in response from Ted Cruz’s “incident” two days ago. Tons of posts calling him a racist, he’s trying to destroy the middle class etc. It’s not just people in the administration. Social media hates anyone in the Republican party with venom.

            In the last 10 years two things have happened: social media has exploded creating political bubbles for people to live in and the left has gotten more left/right has gotten more right.

            Bill Clinton railed against illegal immigrants as a President. You can find speeches from Barack Obama on the topic that sound almost identical to what Trump has said on the issue.

            Our division happened way before the last election cycle and instead of having cordial debates on topics we refuse to even come to the table and talk to the other side. It’s only going to get worse and worse. Every Democrat will be called a communist, a traitor etc. and every Republican will be called a racist.

            Look at the Colin Kaepernick situation. Is there a single person in the country that does not have a STRONG opinion on it?

          • namingrightsforsale

            What do you think is responsible for the country being so partisan?

          • Obo Agboghidi

            Democratic countries are always divided. It’s normal.

            What isn’t normal is crying about losing an elections months after it ended

      • Call the waaaambulance

        there is no evidence on the latter and you know it

        • Christopher Bates

          Do you not understand what “evidence” is? I’ve made clear on here that I don’t agree with characterizing Trump as a “white supremacist.” But to suggest that the amount of evidence that Obama is a Muslim/jihadist (zero) and the amount of evidence that Trump is a white supremacist (some) are equal is simply not correct. I have presented that very evidence elsewhere on this page.

      • Jeffs0413

        Obama spent his formative years in Indonesia, a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world. His mother married a Muslim man. Certainly Obama soaked up the culture even if he did not adopt the Muslim faith.

        • Christopher Bates

          This is nonsense. Obama lived in Indonesia for a little less than four years. He lived in Hawaii for eight. So, does that also mean he’s Polynesian? Trump lived in New York and his mother was of German descent. Does that mean he’s Jewish?

          Evidence is not “by association.” Trump’s acts–the ones HE has taken–provide some support for Hill’s claims. As I have said elsewhere in this thread, I think her words are imprecise, but they’re not complete fabrications. Obama’s acts–the things HE has said and done–do not provide support for the claims about him.

    • TheRandomOne

      Hank Williams got fired for talking bad about Obama remember ?

  • cmlukey

    If you think Hill speaks the “truth” you are insane. there is no hope for you. Therein lies the problem. If someone at ESPN had said something 1/10 as inflammatory about Obama they would have been run out of the building that day. The leftist bias and hypocrisy at ESPN is undeniable.

    • Lindas1st

      Trump is a convicted liar , multiple times and a despicable person. This isnt an opinion. This is an objective statememnt given the right’s own moral standards.
      Comparing Obama & Bush 43 would be a better comparison.

      • Johnny America

        Huh? Trump has been convicted of nothing. You’ve been reported for lying and trolling.

      • Mike

        Mike1w3 name one politician. That dont lie

    • Christopher Bates

      Do you recall when Keith Law was suspended for taking a pro-evolution stance, while Curt Schilling–his opponent in that argument–was not punished at all for taking an anti-evolution stance? Oh, you don’t? You see, that’s called “confirmation bias.”

      • Nathan Walter

        ESPN stated, multiple times, the suspension had nothing to do with his stance on evolution, hence why Schilling was not suspended for his stance the other way.

        If I recall correctly, Law had been warned about the nature of his Twitter account at that point and he was growing increasingly hostile (FWIW, Law is one of the biggest Twitter trolls in the sports world).

  • Carter_Burger67

    Between the cord cutters and the lost of revenue to ESPN as a result, the network is living on borrowed time. Allowing their “talent” to piss over 65 million potential viewers just exacerbates their already perilous situation. And their leadership is to blinded by their own ideology to realize this.

    • social justice warriors are insane.

      • Carter_Burger67

        they are too blinded by their ideology to see what’s going on around them.

  • Lindas1st

    “Being a communist social justice warrior (or so I’m told by anonymous Twitter accounts which commonly have the word “patriot” in their bio)”

    Definitely a russian bot

  • Scott Fitzgerald

    I think Donald Trump IS a white supremacist. (Weather he knows it or not). And I think Jemele Hill should be suspended.

    • Johnny America

      Weather? Did you possible mean whether? You are a special kind of stupid aren’t you?

      • Mike

        He did say “Whether”. And you should have written “Did you possibly mean…” instead of “possible mean”. If you’re going to grammar Nazi on someone, make sure you’re right yourself.

        • Johnny America

          Guess you just got caught trolling but he edited it after he was called out. He said “weather”. He is very very dumb much like you!

          • Christopher Bates

            Listen, Johnny boy. Your grammar is atrocious, and every time you attack someone else, you affirm that fact. Now, why don’t you get off the computer and go cook the customers’ McNuggets?

          • Johnny America

            Hahha a precious little snowflake trying to tell me what to do! I love it! Go back to your safe space Chris the real world is pretty tough. You’ll run into somebody like me out there and I’ll break your nose!

          • Christopher Bates

            Ah, yes, another keyboard tough guy. I have no doubt that, in a real right, you’d start crying and sucking your thumb.

            Did you ever notice how often you get violent with your comments? There is definitely something wrong with you, Johnny boy.

          • namingrightsforsale

            Don’t give into his anger with your own. It only validates his delusion.

          • Christopher Bates

            Good point, though I’m not angry. I can’t take him seriously; he’s such a Trump supporter stereotype.

          • Obo Agboghidi

            That’s a pretty rich statement coming from the guy who started it.

          • Christopher Bates
  • thewatcher2

    McHenry, Carlson and Travis are the new “Three Stooges”. McHenry is on this victimhood tour complaining to anyone why she deserves to have a spotlight, but her resume says otherwise. She’s the female Rob Parker.
    Carlson has been a joke his entire life in media, getting fired from network to network, and Travis is just an opportunist waiting to capitalize off the lowest common denominator.

    • namingrightsforsale

      This would be an accurate way of characterizing their careers.

  • JWJ

    First, Mr K, do you not think of yourself as a poltical leftist or far-leftist? Do you consider your political outlook as middle of the road? Truly curious.

    Now, some folks may agree with Ms. Hill in her bigoted hate-filled rant against the President. Bully for them. If they wish to be delusional in their hatred and bigotry as well, that is their business. Ms. Hill has been a hater for quite a long time (see Boston and Hitler remarks 8 years ago, plus quite a bit more intolerant racial hatred back going back further)

    MSespn has a stated policy “Writers, reporters, producers and editors directly involved in ‘hard’ news reporting, investigative or enterprise assignments and related coverage should refrain in any public-facing forum from taking positions on political or social issues, candidates or office holders.”

    Hopefully, regardless of whether you are a leftist or not, a rational person can objectively agree that Ms. Hill violated MSespn policy. So since she was not fired or suspended, clearly there is a double standard (see Schilling).
    The leadership and corporate culture of MSespn is clearly leftist. So now Ms. Hill has to wonder is she immune because she is also an extreme leftist or is it because she is black (or a combination?). That the white leftist management at MSespn views her more of a token, and not as an individual.

    On one hand, Ms. Hill has quite a bit of power. She can say all the racial hatred directed at non-leftists she wants, and will keep her high-paying job. On the other hand, it actually is sad for Ms. Hill to now think (due to the double standard previously mentioned) that leftist upper-management views her not as an individual, but as a token black woman. That she does not have on-air talent, but is just a racial flamethrower.

    Conservatives on the other hand would have fired her due to her being an individual who preaches intolerance, bigotry, and hatred; not because she is black female.

    • namingrightsforsale

      It’s ironic that you accuse others of delusion.

  • CubbieBanjo

    Can I make a comment as someone who has met and worked with president Trump. The man was a pig. Can you tell I didn’t care for him? I worked with him long before he was president, or ran for president. I didn’t want him as our president. I didn’t want Hillary either! But Mr. Trump is president, and if I were to meet him again today I would shake his hand and say, “Hello Mr. President.” Just as I would for president Obama, Bush, Clinton or Carter. It really, really surprises me that Jamele Hill is unable to do this. She is supposed to be a broadcast professional, boy she sure didn’t act like it. If Scott Van Pelt had made similar comments concerning president Obama on Twitter would he just have been given a talking to? Or would he have been thrown on the scrap heap as quickly as possible?

    • namingrightsforsale

      Why would you respect someone who doesn’t deserve your respect just because they have a fake title in front of their name?

      • CubbieBanjo

        Was it a fake title for President Obama, Bush, Clinton or Carter? Just because you don’t like or respect President Trump doesn’t mean that he didn’t legitimately win the presidency. No matter how much we may not like it. The same thing applied when Kennedy won the presidency over Nixon under suspicious circumstances.

  • Seriously,uguys

    “Clay Travis did tweet about this before I ever considered the Cohn situation and now I’m writing a knee-jerk rebuttal”

    There, FIFY.

  • Shawn Pistey

    It’s a joke the double standard that is allowed to any one who openly bashes Trump in the worst way when compared to Obama. Any honest individual will have to admit calling someone who is Caucasian a White Supremist is the worst thing to be called in today’s society other than pedophile, rapist, or murderer. I think she meant what she said and because of her skin color she was given a free pass. If white brodcaster said same Thing about Obama being a black nationalist they would have been fired immediately

  • newdog301

    The bottom line is our country really sucks right now.

    If you’re on the left you think everyone who disagrees with you is a redneck and you are entitled to criticize people in any way you see fit.

    If you’re on the right you think there is a bias when your over the line comments are reprimanded and that everyone on the other side is a snowflake.

    Can we just get back to normalcy? Can we not freak out over every single the President does? Can we not be called racists for wanting sports to be about sports?

    • namingrightsforsale

      If you want to get back to normalcy, a good place to start would be to stop frequenting Breitbart. It’s feeding the divisiveness and misinformation that is weakening the country.

      • Obo Agboghidi

        What should he read. Some liberal rag that only prints DNC talking points?

  • TheRandomOne

    It is a simple fix ESPN just say no more politics or get fired. The sports audience does not want politics mixed with sports it is that simple. The people that are hired to specifically cover sports should just cover sports & keep their mouth shuts about anything else

    • Jon

      Exactly. Whether you’re Curt Schilling or Jemele Hill, as a public figure on ESPN if you can’t keep your politics out of your other public spaces, like Twitter, you probably shouldn’t be working at a network whose goal presumably is to attract sports fans from across the political spectrum who are trying to get away from politics in their sporting events.

  • The_Von

    The condescension in this article when you finally mention Clay Travis is unbelievable. You hate Clay Travis because he reports on stories that you would rather not report on. You really do think the majority of Trump supporters are white supremacists, so you have no problem with what Jamele said. Or you think she has a point. And it burns you that you have to pretend otherwise to write up this story. You’re not fooling anyone.

  • Jeremy W

    13% of blacks 29 % of lations 29 % of asias and 41% of woman all voted against Hillary

  • Duarte_Road

    Is this a news story or a commentary? Piss poor attempt at fair reporting AA.

  • MrBull

    Linda Cohn is told by Skipper to ‘take a day off to think about how her comments effect the network’, while Hill insults the President of the United States and is back on the air the next day – shows what everyone already knew – Espn is politically bias like CNN, MSNBC, cbs, NBC and abc towards conservatives and protective of liberals….

    • namingrightsforsale

      The president of the US isn’t a king, and it’s an important part of the freedom you presumably hold dear to treat him like a regular citizen and say he sucks if he sucks. And he does suck, a lot. What exactly did she do wrong?

      • MrBull

        Missing the point…but, seeing how you are a Liberal it is understandable…

        • namingrightsforsale

          How is it missing the point? A central part of your comment is the idea that Hill did something awful by “insulting the President of the United States,” and so it’d be only logical to address that claim.

          Also why do you think it’s helpful to call me a “Liberal” and insult me for that? Did I do that to you?

          • MrBull

            Missing the point is how espn handle Hill vs. Linda Cohn and Curt Schilling….there is a double standard on this…
            And if you are not a Liberal, I stand corrected and apologize for insulting you….

      • Nathan Walter

        ESPN is losing millions of subscribers every year. Many of those, it seems, are leaving because ESPN’s delving into politics has watered down their brand.

        Thus, having a pretty well-known and vocal leader at ESPN tweeting something that would further alienate millions of existing or potential customers is bad for business.

        She’s entitled to her own opinion, but when that opinion is spewed publicly and affects the livelihoods of her colleagues, ESPN has every right to discipline her.

        • namingrightsforsale

          “Thus, having a pretty well-known and vocal leader at ESPN tweeting
          something that would further alienate millions of existing or potential
          customers is bad for business.”

          Telling the truth alienates millions of customers? We, as a country, are truly in a bad place if that is true.

          Edit: I should note that I see your point though regarding how ESPN could view this from a business perspective.

          • Nathan Walter

            All this should boil down to is business. What Jamele Hill said is bad for business at ESPN.

            I think the issue I take with this is the extreme double standard it represents. Bill Simmons was suspended 3 weeks—THREE WEEKS—for calling Roger Goodell a liar.

            I mean, you can’t suspend a guy three weeks for taking on a league commissioner and not suspend someone for equally, if not more inflammatory comments about the president, or am I wrong?

            I don’t care about Jamele Hill’s opinions on the president. I probably agree with her. But ESPN has to act on this, but we all know they won’t… which is precisely their problem.

          • Nathan Walter

            Telling the truth can often alienate customers and hurt business, especially when done without any tact.

            If a man walks into McDonald’s and has horrible body odor, it would not wise of the employee behind the counter to yell out “Dude, you stink!!!” during the lunch-time rush. Is it true he smells? Yes. But if you must bring it to his attention (say, his foul smell is a nuisance to customers), you do it tactfully.

            In the same way, Jamele Hill said what she said without any tact. Was there a better way of stating her point? Absolutely. Use less a inflammatory means. Find a better, controlled outlet for it.

            The lack of tact is a clear misstep and, if ESPN is being business-savvy, deserving of discipline.

          • Nathan Walter

            Telling the truth can very well alienate people, especially when done in a less-than-tactful manner.

            For example, if a guy walks into McDonald’s and has super nasty body odor, it would not be in their best interest for the employee to shout, “Dude, you stink!”

            Are they correct? Yes.
            Are they being wise? Absolutely not.

            In the same way, calling the president a white supremacist is not a smart thing to do. It alienates customers and puts the name and image of ESPN in a bad light.

            That’s the only way ESPN ought to look at this: you alienate millions of customers in a time during which you’ve already lost millions of customers.

  • Boardman Koko B Ware

    Bravo AA. One of the last refuges of thoughtful, well-rounded commentary left on the internet.
    If nothing else can we all agree on this? “Arguing” or even discussing politics on social media is a pointless endeavor. Rarely does anyone ever change their point of view. Rather everyone just digs their heels in further and further and becomes more upset at the opposing side.

  • notfunny2u

    ESPN has been, for a while, explicitly practicing the “you can’t separate sports from society” philosophy. Ms. Hill has been one of the strongest advocates of this approach to journalism (something she shares with ESPN personalities like Michael Smith, Pablo Torre, and many of the younger generation there at ESPN). If ESPN truly felt this kind of talk was affecting their bottom line, they’d squash it immediately. But they must find it to be working for them, hence this.

    Left unchecked, ESPN will be forced to reap more of what they’re sowing, as more examples of this will begin to occur. The problem for Ms. Hill is she chose “white surpremacist” as her lede. Their is no way, beyond finding pics of Trump in a Klan outfit, that can possibly be proven. You can smell smoke all you want. You can bring up the Central Park 5 case (in which Trump’s actions and statements were equivalent to some of the stunts Al Sharpton has pulled) and the housing discrimination case (which can be viewed from many angles…lawsuits are never simple), and make intelligent arguments. But by turning the dial immediately to 11, she immediately undermined her subsequent statements.

    Based purely on the responsibility of being a public figure (and yes, I know, Trump should fall under this too), she should be disciplined for her purposefully inflaming statements that served no purpose and did nothing other than put her employer in an awkward position.

    • Nathan Walter

      ESPN suspending Bill Simmons 3 weeks for calling Roger Goodell a “liar” is the best comparison I can recall.

      ESPN claimed that Simmons cannot call Goodell a liar without evidence and suspended him. I find Hill’s comments calling the president a “white supremacist” far, far worse. Not only are they impossible to prove, the blowback is worse.

      Simmons’ comments make the NFL-ESPN relationship awkward, but Goodell isn’t going to jeopardize billions of dollars worth of TV rights because his ego is hurt.

      Hill’s comments, on the other hand, strain the relationship between ESPN and millions of viewers who voted for Trump (thus affecting their ability to buy exclusive rights down the road). Not to mention, the timing is far worse. ESPN is labeled as liberal more and more by the day. Hill’s comments really put ESPN in a tough spot.

  • BobLee Says

    How long before Jemele and Kathy Griffin are touring college campuses as Liberal Rock Stars? I have a feeling “something else” is going to happen with this… but I’m not suggesting what. It’s too volatile to simply fade away like all the other “Get Trump This Week” stuff. Of course, I thought Hillary was going to win on Nov 8th so I’m not batting 1.000 on my guesses.

  • Nathan Walter

    It doesn’t matter what your view of the president is, the bottom line is this:

    ESPN is in a time when they are losing millions of subscribers a year. Some of that is natural cord-cutting. Some of that is people believing they’ve gone too political. Some taking it a step further and claiming they take too many political stances one way vs. the other.

    Bottom line: they are hurting for subscribers.

    So in a time when you are losing subscribers, it is extremely unwise to have headline anchors tweeting things similar to that of Hill’s tweets. It only further alienates current and potential subscribers.

    This series of tweets was bad for ESPN’s brand; there’s no way around it.

  • Nathan Walter

    Linda Cohn isn’t even that great of an example for a double-standard at ESPN. (Considering she made negative comments about her employer on another network, I’m amazed she is still employed by ESPN.)

    Some better examples:
    -Bill Simmons was suspended for three weeks for calling Roger Goodell a liar. Three weeks, for basically saying what was true: Goodell was not being honest about the NFL’s disciplinary handling of domestic violence cases.

    -Colin Cowherd’s “firing” (dismissal of contract a week before it ended) for saying that Dominicans are dumb. (Although, he should have been let go for his comments on Sean Taylor years before). What Cowherd said was absurd, unfounded, illogical, and straight up dumb.

    -Keith Olbermann (for whom, a lifetime suspension is not enough) was suspended a week for calling Penn State students “pitiful”.

    Believe what you choose about the president, but Hill’s comments fall in line somewhere in this realm, don’t you think? All of those above were stupid comments (with exception of Simmons’), and equally terrible for business. You’d have to imagine making inflammatory tweets about the president warrants something between 1-3 weeks.

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  • Jeffs0413

    Jemele is untouchable. She has two attributes that shield her from any retribution. She is black and a women. Does anyone think that there is an executive at ESPN that wants to bet their career against those odds? ESPN has never displayed profiles in courage.
    Those of us who voted twice for a 1/2 black candidate and now support Trump find it rich that we are called white supremacists by s very mediocre TV host,

  • Russell E.

    ESPN already knows that If they fire Hill than suddenly They will be ones called bigots and racists. All while everyone forgets they suspended Linda Cohen (who I add is white, not that it matters in my mind) but most of the time people conveniently throw around this harsh name calling without even truly knowing the people they seem to call these name.

    I’m not defending Trump but at the same time people had already unfairly made up their minds about him before they even gave him a chance. Republicans gave Obama a chance. Did they not? It was obvious. The country chose a different direction. Everything Trump does and any president does is under a microscope, but people had already made their mind up once he won the presidency that everything he did no matter what was going to be wrong on his part and they are angry about it. What dk you dk when you are angry with someone? You start name calling and showing your immaturity.

    This whole country needs to look their self in the mirror and learn to find way to be a better human being.

    This country is all about the cooperation and to hell with the people helping to create it other than the 1% at the top. It’s been that way for years. It’s just how it is. It sucks but the ways that people are going about inspiring change don’t seem to be working and their has to be a better way than to name call the president. Just sayin

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