You heard me correctly. I will not watch ESPN for the next two weeks. I will not listen to ESPN on my car radio on my way to or from anywhere. No Mike and Mike, no NFL Countdown, none of that. This boycott begins now, and will end on October 24, 2017.
And this is because ESPN suspended one of their smartest and most talented on-air personalities, Jemele Hill, for two weeks.
For the dumbest reason ever. Well, maybe there is a reason. ESPN are craven cowards who are afraid of Donald Trump and of Jerry Jones.
Let me explain.
Jemele Hill is one of ESPN’s rising stars. She co-hosts ESPN’s 6:00 p.m. nightly sports show, she appears on various ESPN television and radio shows, and she’s not afraid to speak up when she sees something out of place.
A couple of weeks ago, after the horrible actions in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jemele Hill tweeted on her personal Twitter feed, the following messages.
This did not sit well with the higher-ups at ESPN, who tweeted out their own apology for Hill’s comments.
Of course, by the time ESPN put out their “apology,” the issue became national news when another reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Jemele Hill’s comments.
Yep. She essentially said that Jemele Hill’s comments on Twitter constituted a reason for ESPN to fire her.
Wow. And I’m not even going to get involved in the ethics of a White House official suggesting who a private company should hire and fire.
Jemele Hill later atoned for what was perceived as a social media gaffe –
And it seemed that life has moved on.
Apparently there’s a new issue brewing. And it involves Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who addressed the media this weekend regarding players who take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. He actually said that if any player, in his opinion, disrespects the flag during the National Anthem – whether it involves taking a knee or raising a fist – they will not be allowed to play in the game.
Well, that bothered Jemele Hill as well. Because she understand that the players are not taking a knee to disrespect the flag or what it stands for … they’re taking a knee because of the horrible treatment of African-Americans in our daily lives. And she fired up her Twitter account.
Essentially, she’s advocating the same tactics that Martin Luther King, Jr. did with the Montgomery bus boycotts. Nothing wrong with that. If you don’t like how something goes, you vote with your wallet or you vote with your ballot. If I don’t like something that happens at a restaurant, I don’t eat there any more. If I don’t like a television show, I don’t watch it any more.
Well, apparently ESPN thought that Jemele Hill’s most recent tweet hit too close to home. So they suspended her from the network for two weeks, for a violation of the network’s social media policy.
What an absolutely horseshit decision by ESPN. This wasn’t about “impulsive tweets” and “letting her colleagues and company down.” This was ESPN being scared by outside pressure from the White House and from the Dallas Cowboys. Urgh.
These actions by ESPN are petty and craven and over-reactive. Jemele Hill did nothing wrong except say what was on her mind. And for this she gets a two-week suspension.
So here’s the deal, ESPN. Because you treated Jemele Hill with utter contempt and disrespect for her essentially speaking her mind, and not being just a cute little stereotypical Barbie doll anchorbabe…
Because you didn’t provide Jemele Hill with the respect and dignity that she deserves…
There’s no reason for me to add to your viewership. You are dead to me for every day Jemele Hill is off your network. I will not watch you or listen to you, which means I will not watch or listen to any commercials attached to your shows. I will get my football scores from the NFL Network, I will get my baseball scores from the MLB.com website – I don’t care if you start airing the semi-finals of the national Overwatch tournament…
You are dead to me for the next two weeks.
Like you even care what I say. I’m not Donald Trump or Jerry Jones, so you could probably care less about one less viewer watching your channel.
But you should care. Because I suspect that I’m not the only person out there who’s disgusted by your over-reactive actions.
It just infuriates me that ESPN’s double standard involves championing athletes who take a stand against social injustice … while stifling the voice of their own reporters and anchorpeople when they do the same.
Shame on you, ESPN.
UPDATE: Well, look who just decided to weigh in on the whole situation.