Journalism group voices support for ESPN host blasted by White House

Journalism group voices support for ESPN host blasted by White House
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The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) on Wednesday came to the defense of ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who has come under scrutiny for calling Trump a white supremacist.

“Jemele Hill is an award-winning, veteran journalist who has distinguished herself for having insightful opinions and perspectives on a variety of topics. Having been successful along those lines for 20 years, she has been able to connect with viewers on ESPN as well as on various social media platforms,” the organization said in a statement.

Hill, who is a co-host of ESPN’s "SC6 with Michael and Jemele," criticized Trump in several tweets on Monday, saying he “is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime” and that “his rise is a direct result of white supremacy." 

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The NABJ, in its statement, expressed support for Hill’s rights under the First Amendment.

“That withstanding, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) supports Hill's First Amendment rights on all matters of discussion, within and outside the world of sports, as they do not impinge on her duties as a host and commentator.” 

Hill’s comments have angered conservatives and the White House, with critics arguing the anchor’s remarks are an example of left-wing bias. President Trump’s press secretary said Wednesday that Hill’s comments amounted to “a fireable offense.”

“I’m not sure if he’s aware,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a reporter when asked if Trump was aware of Hill’s comments.

“But I think that's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.