Jemele Hill: Calling Donald Trump a white supremacist like ‘saying water is wet’
Jemele Hill continues to have few regrets over calling Donald Trump a “white supremacist” in 2017, claiming she was surprised how her comments generated so much controversy.
The former ESPN employee weighed in on the backlash and fallout caused by her tweeted remarks about the President during a recent appearance on Dan Le Batard’s new podcast, “South Beach Sessions.”
“I thought I was saying water is wet,” Hill said, as transcribed by The Washington Post. “I didn’t even think it was controversial.”
“I was in the middle of a Twitter conversation. I was replying to somebody. If I was really trying to make a bold statement, I would have added the damn president. I didn’t. I was just talking casually with somebody,” Hill continued. “It wasn’t even original. That’s what is so crazy. I got famous for saying something that wasn’t original. It wasn’t new. It was not breaking news. I thought we all decided this after Charlottesville.”
The firestorm generated by Hill’s comments in September, 2017 reached all the way to the White House. She said in the tweet that Trump was a “white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists.”
ESPN at the time of the controversy deemed Hill’s tweets “inappropriate.” Hill later apologized for the tweets, expressing regret for how her thoughts on Trump “painted ESPN in an unfair light.” ESPN later indicated the apology was accepted.
Hill, however, was then suspended by ESPN for two weeks in October of 2017 for controversial remarks about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Several prominent personalities from the sports world, including Kevin Durant, came out in support of Hill amid the backlash. Hill also defended her remarks this past February during an appearance on “The View.”
Hill, at the time of the tweet, was co-anchoring the 6:00 p.m. ET edition “SportsCenter.” She departed that post after less than a year to join ESPN’s Undefeated and ultimately left the company altogether before landing with The Atlantic.