Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill’s tendency to speak about polarizing social and political issues often attracts criticism from her detractors, but she can always tell when those critics are coming at her after reading Barstool or Outkick.

The former ESPN SportsCenter anchor has been on a wide-ranging media tour in recent months to promote her new memoir Uphill, which was released on Oct. 25. One of Hill’s most recent stops was Deadspin, where she offered an opinion of Barstool, Outkick, and their audiences.

“The people that rock with Barstool, rock with Clay Travis, are more than welcome to rock with those people. I don’t think it’s a larger indictment of where sports media is,” Hill said. “I do think it’s interesting that some individuals in those camps are just very fame thirsty and dishonest to me. That’s not how I roll, that’s not how I was taught in this business. It’s certainly not the type of person that I am. But if it works for them, cool. Like make your money, do your thing.”

Hill’s interview with Deadspin was edited down to just a 90-second video that requires you to first watch a 60-second ad. While her newly released book is mentioned in the video, there is no real promotion for the memoir. Instead, the Deadspin video focuses solely on Hill’s comments about Barstool and Outkick.

“They tend to stoke the mob, if you will, sometimes over what I consider to be very petty grievances,” Hill continued. “And I don’t think they care, or maybe they don’t even realize, what doing that does to a person that they’ve targeted.”

They definitely don’t care, because stoking the mob is kind of Barstool and Outkick’s modus operandi. Barstool and Outkick relish the ability to stoke their audiences knowing that they contain loyal followings who are always willing and eager to unapologetically attack their critics. And Hill has been the target of those stoked mobs before, getting into several clashes with Barstool and Outkick, as well as their respective founders Dave Portnoy and Clay Travis.

“I can instantly tell when somebody has read Outkick because there’s a certain playbook they all use in their talking points,” she said. “I’m like, ‘oh yea I know where you read about me at.’ But again, that’s just the way they choose to conduct their business. It’s got nothing to do with me.”


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to