Once upon a time, ESPN made history with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith as the first all-Black anchor team on “SportsCenter” in February 2017. However, after Hill called out Donald Trump as a white supremacist, ESPN has not been supporting the anchor. Her hosting duties at “SportsCenter” (Smith left in March) ended and she was writing for ESPN’s Undefeated website. Now, her time at ESPN is reportedly over.
According to SportingNews.com, “The former ‘SportsCenter’ anchor will accept a buyout of the remainder of her contract with the network, said sources. Hill’s deal with ESPN still has at least two years to run and she stands to walk away with millions of dollars from ESPN parent Disney while she pursues other career opportunities, sources said.”
Yep, millions of dollars, and she deserves every penny.
This is no shock considering Jimmy Pitaro, the new president of ESPN, said he didn’t want any of the commentators to have political opinions, implying he will be kowtowing to whatever the NFL wants. Pitaro told The Washington Post on August 17, “I’ve spent a lot of time with league executives. The relationship is incredibly important to us. That programming cuts across everything we’re doing on the studio side, on the original content side. And we’ve made that very clear to the NFL.”
He also said, “If you ask me is there a false narrative out there, I will tell you ESPN being a political organization is false. I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our jobs to cover politics, purely.”
Either way, Jemele Hill is going to be great. We are sure she has big things in the future.