Award-winning sports journalist Jemele Hill has never avoided speaking her truth. Revered for her work with former employer ESPN, the Michigan native garnered even more attention last year when she posted a tweet calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
More than a year after she composed the tweet, Hill is saying she never considered her words newsworthy in the first place. Speaking with host Dan Le Batard on his South Beach Sessions podcast on Wednesday, Hill believed she was stating the obvious when she criticized Trump.
"I thought I was saying water is wet," Hill said to Le Batard. "I didn’t even think it was controversial."
The Michigan State alum adds that if she wanted to create controversy, she would have mentioned Trump himself in the tweet.
"I was in the middle of a Twitter conversation, I was replying to somebody. If I was really trying to make a bold statement, I would have @ed the damn president," Hill continued. "I didn’t; I was just talking casually with somebody."
Following Hill's comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on ESPN to fire Hill, claiming her remarks were "one of the more outrageous comments anyone could make."
However, Hill didn't even think what she said was anything egregious.
"It wasn’t even original. That’s what is so crazy," the recently engaged anchor continued. "I got famous for saying something that wasn’t original. It wasn’t new. It was not breaking news. I thought we all decided this after Charlottesville."
Regarding Charlottesville, Hill was referring to the deadly August 2017 "Unite the Right" rally where a white supremacist fatally killed a counter-protester in Charlottesville, Virginia.
ESPN suspended Hill for two weeks after she posted the controversial tweet, stating the former SC6 host violated the network's "social media guidelines" for a second time.
In October 2018, Hill left ESPN and announced she had accepted a new position as a staff writer with The Atlantic. In her statement announcing the move, Hill praised her new employer for supporting journalists who are interested in covering the discomforts of race, gender, class and politics.
Following her divorce from CNN, one of Hill's first ventures included narrating NBA star LeBron James' documentary series Shut Up and Dribble.
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