After taking to Twitter to blast President Trump as a “white supremacist” early September of last year, ESPN’s Jemele Hill seemed to fade away from the news cycle with no repercussion for her politically-oriented outburst.
As I wondered back in September:
What are these comments coming from a sports network for? When people tune into a football or basketball game, they want to escape away from the woes and problems of the world; not have it infiltrate into their favorite pastime…
ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.
…but in Jemele Hill’s case, ESPN apologized for her remarks and said her views do not reflect the views of the network:
However, Hill and ESPN have reportedly parted ways from one another – with her comments from last year being the direct reason for the split.
With Hill’s termination and $2.5 million contract buyout, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro has made it clear that the network does not want to be associated with politics.
Although in recent months, Hill hadn’t contributed to ESPN’s content and despite the company’s policies, tweeted often and regularly about politics. With the split, it’s likely Jemele Hill will wade further into her brand of super-charged, biased opinions and ESPN will quietly distance itself from the debacle and politics entirely.
After being asked about his relationship with Trump, Woods urged people to respect the office of the President, saying:
He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.
Kellerman criticized Woods’ comment, saying that it was a “thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement”.
“…It either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say… Are you saying that the office… confers respect on to its present temporary occupant? No. Having respect for the office means principally, in my view, is the office holder should have respect for the office“.
It is not such that we have such great respect for the office that no matter what the behavior of its occupant, we must respect the occupant because of the office. No. Tiger Woods … is being slick. We must respect the office therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment.”
Clearly, if Pitaro is serious about ESPN being an apolitical network, he has a little bit more cleaning house to do.
With Hill’s obnoxious and privileged politically-charged ranting, ESPN’s ratings likely took a large hit as a direct result. It’s clear that people do not expect or want politics where they do not belong – such as a sports network.
In the end, money talks – and although ESPN boss Pitaro had to buy Hill’s contract out for $2.5 million, that’s likely a small price to pay to welcome viewers back to the ailing network and let sports be sports with less politically-oriented virtue-signaling.