ESPN tried to kick sports anchor Jemele Hill off the air after she called President Trump a “white supremacist” in a tweet, but her co-host (and former lover) Michael Smith refused to host “SportsCenter” without her.
Hill tweeted, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself [with] other white supremacists,” and “[I]f he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
Trump called for Hill to apologize, but she refused and her tweets are still on her Twitter.com account.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for ESPN to fire the embattled sports anchor during a press briefing on Wednesday.
According to published reports, ESPN reached out to black ESPN host Michael Eaves and biracial sports anchor Elle Duncan to replace Hill and Smith on “SportsCenter” on Thursday, but both anchors refused the request.
“Man.. this day got me like..,” Eaves tweeted on Wednesday.
Duncan, 34, an Atlanta native and former V-103 jock, joined ESPN in 2016 after spending two years as a sports reporter in Boston and another stint as a traffic reporter for Atlanta’s NBC affiliate in 2013.
Hill, 44, began working with ESPN in November 2006. She was promoted to her own ESPN show on SportsCenter with co-host Smith on February 6, 2017, titled “SC6 with Michael and Jemele” or simply “The Six”.
Hill’s continued presence at ESPN has resulted in thousands of canceled cable subscribers, as outraged viewers tune out. The sports cable network has come under fire over the years for its decidedly left-leaning programming.
ESPN has lost millions of viewers as the mostly male audience objects to the network’s strange mix of politics and sports.
One more scandal could break the network, which is why ESPN tried to boot Hill off the air on Thursday.