Al Sharpton blasted ESPN on Monday after the network announced that Jemele Hill was suspended for two weeks after suggesting a boycott of the National Football League.
“We consider it outrageous that Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN,” Sharpton and his National Action Network said in a statement. “She has the right to tell people that they ought to let advertisers know how they feel, since they are the consumers. While she didn’t call for a direct boycott, it’s not off the table for us in the civil rights community.” (RELATED: ESPN Suspends Jemele Hill For Two Weeks)
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” the statement by ESPN read. “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.”
On Sunday, Hill suggested fans should boycott the sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL after Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones said players who disrespect the national anthem will not play.
“This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers,” Hill tweeted.
This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers. https://t.co/LFXJ9YQe74
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
In September, she attacked President Donald Trump on Twitter calling him a “white supremacist.”
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
In response, ESPN president John Skipper issued a statement telling employees, in essence, to stick to sports.
“ESPN is not a political organization,” Skipper’s memo read. “Where sports and politics intersect, no one is told what view they must express. At the same time, ESPN has values. We are committed to inclusion and an environment of tolerance where everyone in a diverse work force has the equal opportunity to succeed. We consider this human, not political. Consequently, we insist that no one be denigrated for who they are including their gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual identity.”