Jemele Hill is breaking her silence ahead of her return to ESPN Monday, revealing some surprising admissions about her suspension. The “SC6” host disclosed the truth behind her permissions regarding social media use. Plus, Hill named her sole regret over those controversial Donald Trump tweets.
“Me and ESPN are fine,” Hill tells TMZ Saturday, Oct. 21. “I’m happy to be back on the network. … I want people to understand this: there was never any restrictions placed on me about Twitter. Never.”
Hill, who said her time away has been “reflective,” said she doesn’t hold anything against ESPN for their response to her saying NFL fans can boycott Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers. Hill tweeted the idea Oct. 8 after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any player who “disrespects the flag” won’t play. ESPN suspended her for two weeks the next day for violating its social media policy, but it never disclosed exactly what part of the policy she infringed upon.
It was the second time in two months that Hill was the center of controversy over her tweets. The first came when she called Trump a “white supremacist.”
“I would tell people ‘Absolutely after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension,'” she says. “I deserved it. Absolutely. I violated the policy I deserved that suspension. Going forward [the network and I] will be in a good, healthy place and it’ll be fine.
Jemele Hill’s Suspension Aftermath
“The only thing I’ll ever apologize for is, I put ESPN in a bad spot,” she continues. “But I’ll never take back what I said. … I regret the position I put them in, I regret a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I’ll never take back what I said.”
She also said she won’t think twice about what she tweets, adding that she doesn’t “feel suppressed.”
However, Hill’s discussion wasn’t all about her suspension. She also weighed in on the ongoing dust-up over the national anthem and the NFL. According to Hill, Jones is “openly challenging who [his athletes] are as people.”
She also advised having teams revisit stay in the locker room, noting that it wasn’t until recently that NFLers appeared on the field during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”