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ESPN suspends SportsCenter host Jemele Hill for violating its social media policy

ESPN announced Monday it had suspended SportsCenter host Jemele Hill for two weeks for violating the company’s social media policy.
ESPN announced Monday it had suspended SportsCenter host Jemele Hill for two weeks for violating the company’s social media policy. AP

ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for violating the company’s social media policy for a second time, the network announced Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, Hill posted tweets suggesting that people boycott Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers after team owner Jerry Jones said players who disrespect the flag won’t play. NFL players have been protesting racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.

On Monday, Hill tweeted “Just so we’re clear: I’m not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.”

On Monday, ESPN released a statement saying Hill had been suspended.

“She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet,” ESPN said in the statement. “In the aftermath all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”

Last month, Hill, who was a sports writer at The News & Observer from 1997-99, used Twitter to call President Donald Trump a white supremacist, causing an uproar on social media. ESPN at the time distanced itself from her tweet.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, responded to Hill’s tweet by calling it “a fireable offense.”

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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