For weeks, the elites of the pro sports world have been in a tailspin of bad press, and while the ongoing fan revolt still hasn’t been enough to get them to meaningfully crack down on the behavior that provoked America’s ire, ESPN just threw the non-leftists in their audience a small bone.
The New York Post reports that the sports network has given host Jemele Hill a two-week suspension for an unspecified “second violation of our social media guidelines.”
As TFPP covered at the time, Hill is the one who went on a Twitter rant calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” who “surrounded himself” with other white supremacists, whose election was a “direct result of white supremacy,” and who only got elected because he was white (I forget: what was Hillary Clinton’s skin color again?). Hill apologized for generating bad press for her employers, but didn’t apologize for the fact that her comments were vile, idiotic, premeditated lies.
“In the aftermath” of those tweets, ESPN explained, “all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”
Hill has not tweeted since 11 a.m. Eastern on Monday. However, on Sunday she suggested fans boycott Cowboys advertisers if they were upset Jerry Jones told his players they would stand for the national anthem or be benched.
“This play always work,” she wrote. “Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”
On Monday, her last tweet read: “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.”
For context, here are the exact comments from Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, that set Hill off:
“We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we’re clear” […]
Jones said he wasn’t aware of whether any of his players had raised a fist at the end of the anthem before the Green Bay game.
“I don’t know about that,” Jones said. “But if there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period” […]
“The league in mind should absolutely take the rules we’ve got on the books and make sure that we do not give the perception that we’re disrespecting the flag,” Jones said.
Note well that part at the end. You wouldn’t know it from all the blather about free speech and expression, but the NFL’s own rulebook already states that player do not have a right to kneel on the field during the National Anthem:
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.
Did Hill ever object to this rule before kneeling was made the vehicle for perpetuating a vicious lie about America’s police? Did anyone?
In the final analysis, the story should not bee that Jemele Hill is getting suspended from ESPN. The story should be why ESPEN — and the NFL, for that matter — aren’t getting cleaned out top to bottom.