ESPN Suspends ‘SportsCenter’ Anchor for Jerry Jones Tweet
ESPN personality Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN over her tweets about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The network announced that Hill, a “SportsCenter” anchor, would be suspended for two weeks.
“If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players,” Hill tweeted, suggesting that people should boycott Jones’ sponsors.
Jones stated over the weekend that any Cowboys players who don’t stand for the national anthem wouldn’t play on the team.
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said, per TMZ.
“She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. 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, during a “Monday Night Football” game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones, the team’s coaching staff, and Cowboys players took a knee before the anthem played but were standing again by the time the pop star Jordin Sparks had begun singing the anthem.
Jones seemed to draw a distinction between that gesture and kneeling during the anthem itself.
“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” Jones said, ESPN reported. “Understand? We will not … if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period.”
“We made our expression. I’m very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys—I don’t care what happens—under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period.”
Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee during the anthem last season, saying he did it to protest “police brutality” and “racial injustice.” Kaepernick, who is out of work, made headlines for the protest, but has not been hired by any team since becoming a free agent.
Last month, Trump made statements and tweets saying that players who protest during the anthem should be fired.