ESPN ignited a debate over sports journalists' use of social media on Monday when it suspended sportscaster Jemele Hill over tweets that suggested people boycott companies that are corporate sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys. However, she appeared to encourage people to boycott advertisers who work with the Dallas Cowboys after the team's owner said Sunday that players who refuse to stand during the national anthem would not be allowed on the field.
Hill would eventually express regret for her tweets about Trump.
I love the fact that it seemingly didn't even occur to Hill, an ESPN employee, that encouraging a boycott of pro football advertisers might create a problem for her network. "Don't place the burden squarely on the players", read one of the tweets.
Hill later clarified that she was not advocating a boycott.
"SportsCenter" anchor Jemele Hill boasts the "fourth-worst Twitter account at ESPN".
Following Hill's tweet about Trump, ESPN head John Skipper sent an internal note to the staff reminding them of ESPN's principles. It also declined to say whether Hill was suspended with or without pay, and it was unclear whether Hill had also been suspended from social media.
The 41-year-old African-American anchor had escaped with a warning last month after describing US President Donald Trump as a "white supremacist".
Hill has been working with ESPN since 2006. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence attended an Indianapolis Colts game, but left after "The Star-Spangled Banner" when players from the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem.
ESPN has a $15.2 billion deal with the league to broadcast NFL games through 2021.