ESPN terminated a baseball legend for his conservatives views in 2016, but now the sports channel apparently will not punish a Trump-hating host who fired off a tweet storm calling the president a bigot and white supremacist.
ESPN SportCenter host Jemele Hill, a fan of former President Obama, unleashed a brutal series of anti-Trump tweets on Sept. 11.
“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists,” Hill charged.
She added: “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”
That was just the beginning. Hill claimed President Trump has “empowered white supremacists,” such as those involved in a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally that turned violent in August.
“[Trump] is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
“Donald Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn’t, because I cared about more than just myself.”
The sports channel simply released the following statement Tuesday: “The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Hill apparently was invited to the White House and photographed with President Obama and first lady Michelle in 2015 and 2016. She posted the following photo to Twitter:
A Twitter fan asked Hill, “What [did] Barack smell like?!?”
Hill replied, “Black dreams and excellence.”
Hill was also selected by ABC News to moderate a July 2016 town hall on race with President Obama.
In July, Hill made headlines when she compared police to “slave patrols” that used violence on plantations to impose discipline on black slaves before the Civil War.
While many Twitter users and ESPN fans support Hill’s right to speak freely and share her anti-Trump views, others accused ESPN of having double standards when it comes to employees expressing their political views:
- “So Curt Schilling gets fired and she doesn’t?” – IrritatedWoman
- “Had somebody said that about Obama, you would’ve fired them … #FireJemele.” – #7isHere
- “Explain why Curt Schilling @gehrig38 was let go then? Far more talented than @jemelehill, who I can’t figure out how she has that job.” – Joe Alexander
- “Curt Schilling, call your office …” – Mattphilbin
- “She should be terminated @ESPN. Is [there] a double standard? A white male is fired but a black female is not?” – John McKenna
- “Pretty sure they align with ESPN views: 1) she’s still employed. 2) the tweets haven’t been deleted. 3) curt schilling fired for much less.” – Bama Breeze
- “Say something politically conservative, ESPN fires (Schilling) or demotes (Mike Ditka). You say something liberal and untrue, they ‘address’ it.
In April 2016, ESPN wasn’t so forgiving when former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling merely shared the following Facebook post concerning the transgender bathroom issue in the news headlines at the time.
While Schilling hadn’t actually posted the meme to Facebook, the left went into full-blown attack mode. At the time, Schilling explained: “This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.”
He continued: “You frauds out there ranting and screaming about my ‘opinions’ (even if it isn’t) and comments are screaming for ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ while you refuse to do and be either.”
WND requested comment from Schilling asking whether he believes ESPN has double standards when it comes to political viewpoints of its employees and contributors. But WND’s message hadn’t been returned at the time of this report.
After WND asked Schilling about ESPN’s alleged bias, he tweeted that ESPN didn’t fire Hill because it’s “fine with liberal racism.”
Schilling wrote: “Anyone asking. She didn’t get fired ’cause disney and ESPN are fine w/liberal racism vs conservative logic. Only naysayers to that are liars.”
Also in 2016, ESPN removed former NFL coach Mike Ditka from its “Sunday NFL Countdown.” Ditka, who had supported Trump for president and endorsed him in 2015, had given several pro-Trump interviews at the time. It’s unclear whether ESPN’s decision had anything to do with Ditka’s political leanings. However, Ditka told Sporting News he believes ESPN is political liberal.
Sporting News asked Ditka, “What do you think of the charge that ESPN is politically liberal – and doesn’t want conservatives like you or Schilling?”
Ditka replied: “I think they lean that way. Yes, there’s no questions about it. I am conservative. I don’t wear a badge. It’s America. It’s a free country. You have freedom of choice. You can choose to be just about anything as long as you don’t break the law. That’s totally up to you. But we’ve come to a time in our society … I’ll give you a little speech (Vince) Lombardi gave when he was talking to the Washington Touchdown Club. He said it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society that only has sympathy for the misfits, the maladjusted, the criminals and the losers. He said pity them and help them. But it’s about time in our society that we stood up and cheered for the doers, the achievers. Those people who recognize a problem and then do something about it. In other words, for winners and leaders in life.
“Here’s the thing: It’s one thing to point out a problem. Let’s try to figure out how to fix the problem. That’s what we’re not doing. Everybody is well, ‘This is wrong, that’s wrong …’ Well, this is a pretty good country. We have freedoms here that you have nowhere else in other countries in the world.”
ESPN has a history of tolerance when it comes to leftist viewpoints.
ESPN didn’t punish its host and analyst, Tony Kornheiser, after he suggested tea-party members are “like ISIS trying to establish a caliphate here” in October 2015.
And ESPN honored Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) with an Arthur Ashe Courage Award after the Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete came out as a woman.
Then, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum said, “This country has issues, but this country is not oppressing black people.” But shortly after his comment, Finebaum appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to apologize for his statement.
In June of this year, ESPN conducted a survey intended to debunk the idea that it has a liberal bias. But ESPN’s own research showed respondents, by a 2-to-1 margin, said they detect bias from the sports channel.
“About 30 percent of the respondents said they detect bias; within that group, 63 percent said it’s a liberal bias while 30 percent said it’s a conservative bias,” Sporting News reported. “The remaining 7 percent said they detect bias but declined to categorize it one way or the other.”