jemele hill

On Monday, less than a month after ESPN reprimanded Jemele Hill for her tweets about Donald Trump, the network suspended the host two weeks for suggesting fans boycott Dallas Cowboys advertisers.

Immediately after ESPN announced the punishment, many prominent voices within sports media reacted, often strongly. Most who have weighed in are not exactly thrilled to see Hill suspended.

The most notable reaction came from Hill’s SC6 co-host Michael Smith, who will sit out the next show in what was described to The Wrap as a “mutual” decision with ESPN. He will reportedly return to the air Tuesday.

Though the majority of ESPN personalities seem to be sitting this one out, anchors Lindsay Czarniak and Cari Champion criticized their company’s decision.

Update: It turns out Czarniak no longer works for ESPN.

Some former ESPNers chimed in with criticism as well. Ex-anchor Robert Flores suggested that the suspension of Hill showed how ESPN values money over everything and draws a line at going after advertisers.

Bill Simmons seemed to take a shot at ESPN, though he veiled it just enough that we can’t quite say for sure.

And of course plenty of others in and around sports media offered their two cents.

The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis shared a quote from Hill in which she said she didn’t want to get fired over Twitter.

ESPN guru Jim Miller suggested that if ESPN can’t abide by a SportsCenter host sharing politics-adjacent opinions on social media, it needs to find a new role for Hill.

And finally, in case you thought maybe the Hill saga was due to die down a bit, Rev. Al Sharpton has gotten involved.

Time will tell where this story goes from here, but the decision to suspend Hill over her tweets have been and will continue to be incredibly polarizing.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Son of Rusty Shackleford

    Al Sharpton hasn’t been a big deal since he led a pogrom 20-plus years ago and escaped the hoosegow. Only Awful Announcing (and probably Pro Football Talk) would take him seriously. Resist We Much!!!!

    • nbtx27

      Al Sharpton, he of Tawana Brawley infamy! It’s been 30 years, and the guy still has no reason to be trusted.
      I’m sure his involvement will make a difference.

  • Tigers Ruledude

    The criticism is laughable.

    ESPN can and SHOULD protect their product. They have billions invested in the NFL. When an employee calls for something that even suggests a boycott of the ESPN product…yeah…gonna get suspended. No brainer.

    Linda czarniak and Cari Champion will likely be suspended as well.

    You don’t have without consequence free speech at work. Jemele Hills tweets are part of her work.

    • MetaphysicalMan

      So then ESPN should drop all pretense of journalism.

      • Brian C. Lee

        I think they’ve already done that.

      • Carter_Burger67

        They don’t need to. We already know they’ve thrown in with the lame stream media.

      • Tigers Ruledude

        ESPN is a BUSINESS. There job is to MAKE MONEY. They do that with ADVERTISING. She assaulted the bottom line of the business she works for.

        As far journalism…she was not acting like a journalist. She can not act like an activist and then wear the journalist vest to protect herself. That’s not how it works.

  • markvidpa

    For the 14th time, doesn’t anyone understand this is her SECOND suspension? For anyone suggesting a short leash, you know nothing about her history. If anything, this should have happened a long time ago.

    • CreightonRabs

      Could you refresh my memory as to when her first suspension was? Not doubting your statement, I just don’t recall the first suspension.

  • Douglas Groetzinger

    Has ESPN suspended the moron who thought SC6 was a good idea?!?! I think that was a worse offense than explaining how boycotts work. But I also understand they’re afraid the NFL will make next year’s Monday Night Football schedule worse than it would be otherwise.

  • Bragar

    Thing about libtards-all of them…ya always know what you’re getting-profound arrogance and no measurable level of intelligence.
    The worst of us…

    • Christopher Bates

      It’s remarkable that you don’t see the irony in your statement.

  • Carter_Burger67

    The same people cheering her calling the President of the free world a racist are now pissed because she did something you should NEVER do. Mess with the NFL’s cash flow. That free speech thing works both ways.

    • Jon

      They also seem to think that, like PBS, there’s some sort of Corporation for Public Sports Broadcasting out there, that’s going to give ESPN the ad money they would lose from those companies removing their ads from the network over one of their show hosts calling for a boycott of their products.

      But given the drop in ratings and profits ESPN has suffered over the past five years, Hill misjudged how far her bosses were willing to go with their own beliefs, once Hill’s actions required them to choose between her, the sponsors and the NFL (where she may have had in her mind that she could turn Jones’ statement on his players standing for the National Anthem into some sort of Donald Sterling-like controversy, with the end result being Jerry Jones’ forced sale of the Dallas Cowboys).

      • Carter_Burger67

        Never mess with the cash flow. You can attack the president all you want, but when you start messing with the money, you are treading on thin ice.

  • John Danknich

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Between this and the Harvey Weinstein debacle, it’s not been a good last few days for the liberal hypocrisy.

  • William Smith

    Get rid of all the race hucksters in front of the microphones and I may consider watching again.

  • Keith P.

    She should be fired, not for what she tweeted as much as for making herself the story by ignoring her employer’s directives.

  • PAI

    Who are half these people? This is a story, taking a bunch of tweets and ‘voila!, story!’?

  • ncpete

    She called for fans to boycott the Cowboys sponsors. The Cowboys biggest sponsor is probably AT&T, a company that pays ESPN over $2.5 billion per year in carriage fees, hundreds of millions if not billions in carriage fees for other Disney-owned channels, and millions in advertising. That’s not a company Disney wants it’s employees messing with even indirectly.

  • Deon Hamner

    I like and agree with Hill but this is her second warning and a suspension is warranted… Don’t know why ESPN loves the NFL so much, it gives them crap MNF games, charges them the most and give them the worst playoff games… What a joke. ESPN has sunday night football for like 25 years and it’s garbage, NBC grabs its and it’s must see tv…

    • Nathan Walter

      “Don’t know why ESPN loves the NFL so much”

      Because it’s their cash cow. They spend an absurd amount of money on it. They spend an absurd amount of time covering it. And they receive an absurd amount of viewers because of it.

      I don’t think it’s high quality by any means, but it’s clear that messing with the NFL is not something ESPN takes lightly.

  • TwoBuckToll

    It looks to me like she was trying to get suspended. That way she becomes the story, and she gets automatic defenders rallying to her cause. She doesn’t have to defend her actual positions regarding Trump or the player protests.

  • BobLee Says

    Beware of any headline that uses quantitative inclusive terms such as “every”… “all”… everyone knows”… “we can all agree that”… “it is obvious”… “unanimous”. That author / headline editor lives within a bubble of like-minds. His/her definition of “Everyone” … “All of us” … likely does not include you or me. AA writers tend to do that a lot…

  • MrBull

    Those coming out to support Hill are doing the typical ‘hey, Hill did nothing wrong’ view…yet, others like Simmons and Schilling received suspensions for what was their 2nd or even 3rd cause….

    Also, I would not be surprised if espn felt that they had ‘stuck their head out there’ for Hill by backing her over the Trump comments (which certainly deserved days) and then Hill creates a problem…

    And what Hill said about ‘some times and some days she wants to cuss out everybody’ is a bad sign and not what you want to hear from an on air host or broadcaster.”..anger issues there…..

  • Pingback: Lindsay Czarniak and ESPN parted ways in August after her contract expired()

  • OOS

    The FBI reports that in 2106, 233 African Americans were shot to death by cops. The Washington Post reviewed all of these shootings and found that only 16 of these people were unarmed. These 16 include people who fought back, were thought to have weapon or were endangering the cop’s lives in some way. I’m not sure what’s left, but has it really been worth the last year?

    Who knew when Kap stole Aldon Smith’s girlfriend it would lead to all this?

  • sportsfan365

    She should have suspended her for being a moron.

  • CarmenXVI

    I’m not surprised in the slightest that Sports media types come to the defense of Jemele Hills defense.

    Let’s cut through all the crap and the rhetoric.
    Most (Sports reporters, etc) feel that they HAVE to defend athletes.

    They simply feel that their very careers depend upon it. They must be supportive to athletes and report favorably concerning athletes actions

  • Ahchoo3

    I can see no vetting goes into the tweets above, one person in support of Hill is also “boycotting dannon” because they cut ties with him over a sexist exchange on camera. This has nothing to do with “right or wrong”, it’s the same old “white vs black” BS. In a way, the NFL is a customer to ESPN. If you talk bad about customers at any other job, you’ll be fired almost on the spot. If she wants the Jemele Hill Show, then go to YouTube and start her own channel. No one is watching ESPN for the personalities, they watch for the sports they cover.