Donald Trump: ESPN ‘paying a really big price for its politics’
President Donald Trump on Friday morning went on a tweetstorm and saved his final tweet to blast ESPN, arguing the company is “paying a really big price for its politics.” Trump argued in his tweet that is why ESPN is losing viewers and subscribers because of it.
ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
The timing of Trump’s ire directed at ESPN presumably was inspired in large part by the controversy surrounding “SportsCenter” host Jemele Hill, who earlier this week took to Twitter to blast the President and accuse him of being a white supremacist and arguing that he is “unqualified and unfit to be president.”
ESPN later weighed in on the controversy, calling Hill’s tweets “inappropriate.”
ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/3kfexjx9zQ
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017
Hill later apologized for the tweets, expressing regret for how her thoughts on Trump “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”
So, to address the elephant in the room … #Facts pic.twitter.com/RTrIDD87ut
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 14, 2017
ESPN then responded to Hill’s apology by indicating it was accepted.
Here’s the full statement from ESPN about @JemeleHill pic.twitter.com/IVAydvcwum
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 14, 2017
Developments that came to light later Thursday, however, indicated that while ESPN may have publicly accepted Hill’s apology, behind the scenes things may have been different, as the network reportedly attempted to keep her off the air on Wednesday.
ESPN has come under fire for appearing to be overly left-leaning and too outwardly liberal in its politics, at least as it pertains to the opinions expressed by some of its on-air personalities, while being less tolerant of conservative views.
Regarding Hill and Trump’s tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this week deemed the ESPN personality’s tweets on Trump as a “fireable offense.”