ESPN suspends Jemele Hill for violation of social media policy

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ESPN has suspended host Jemele Hill for what it said was a second violation of the network’s social media guidelines on Monday.

Hill in a tweet said her followers should consider boycotting advertisers of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after Jones threatened to bench any player who kneels during the national anthem.

“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” the network said in a statement. “She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet.”

{mosads}“In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences,” the statement continued. “Hence this decision.”

Hill had previously come under fire for calling President Trump a “white supremacist.”

ESPN’s decision reflects the close financial partnership the network has with the NFL. The sports network pays the football league close to $2 billion annually to broadcast “Monday Night Football,” a deal renewed in 2011 and good through 2021, and has suspended prominent employees in the past for speaking out against top figures in the NFL.

In September 2014, the network suspended columnist Bill Simmons after he criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. ESPN announced in 2015 that it wouldn’t be renewing Simmons’s contract. 

The latest controversy surrounding Hill comes after she spoke out about Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, who said he would bench any player who knelt during the national anthem.

Hill came under fire last month for calling President Trump a “white supremacist” and a “bigot” in a series of tweets.

ESPN issued a statement following Hill’s tweets, saying they “do not represent the position of ESPN.”

“We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” the network said in a statement.

The White House called for Hill to be fired after the incident, calling her tweets “outrageous.”

“That is one of the more outrageous comments that anybody could make and certainly is something that is a fireable offense by ESPN,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a press briefing.

Trump slammed ESPN days later for its “politics” following Hill’s comments and demanded the network apologize for the “untruth.”

“ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Hill has continued criticism of Trump since her initial remarks. 

After Trump referred to any NFL player that kneels during the national anthem as a “son of a bitch,” Hill said Trump’s comments would only cause more protests.

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