UPDATED: 1:18 p.m. ET — The Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference that was also a protest of ESPN suspending anchor Jemele Hill outside of the network’s headquarters in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. He posted two photos from the protest.
A protest over the suspension of ESPN anchor Jemele Hill will be held outside of the cable sports network’s headquarters in New York City Tuesday at noon, the Rev. Al Sharpton announced. Hill’s discipline on Monday violating company social media policy for a second time has reportedly infuriated Sharpton.
“Rev. Sharpton and NAN will call for a meeting with the Chairman of the Board and demand an immediate reinstatement of Jemele Hill along with other demands pertaining to corporate diversity,” Sharpton said with his National Action Network organization in a brief statement.
Sharpton, who has also threatened to boycott the network, was demanding ESPN executives meet with civil rights leaders over the “outrageous” suspension.
After Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced that he would punish any of his team’s players who don’t stand for the national anthem, Hill tweeted that NFL fans should boycott the franchise. In doing so, she broke the network’s rule prohibiting its employees from making political statements on social media.
“We consider it outrageous that Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN. She has the right to tell people that they ought to let advertisers know how they feel, since they are the consumers,” Sharpton’s National Action Network statement continued. “While she didn’t call for a direct boycott, it’s not off the table for us in the civil rights community.”
Hill’s two-week suspension from the network came nearly one month after ESPN suspended her in September for tweeting that the president was a White supremacist.