POLITICS

ESPN's hypocrisy: Nothing happens after anchor calls Trump a white supremacist

Joe Misulonas
Author
Joe Misulonas
ESPN's hypocrisy: Nothing happens after anchor calls Trump a white supremacist

Earlier this week, ESPN anchor and reporter Jemele Hill created a bit of controversy for writing a series of tweets in which she called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist.” She also referred to him as a bigot and said he was both unqualified and unfit to be president.

ESPN's hypocrisy: Nothing happens after anchor calls Trump a white supremacist
ESPN's hypocrisy: Nothing happens after anchor calls Trump a white supremacist
ESPN's hypocrisy: Nothing happens after anchor calls Trump a white supremacist

ESPN responded to this incident with a statement where they said they did not condone what Hill said about the president and that she had been reprimanded for her tweets, but no further punishment was announced.

The response from ESPN was attacked from both sides. Conservatives accused ESPN of being hypocritical for punishing right-wing employees who expressed their views, such as Curt Schilling. Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry tweeted that she had been reprimanded simply for favoriting pro-conservative tweets while working for the company. The White House even called for Hill to be fired.

However those on the left felt that ESPN even criticizing Hill’s tweets was too far. They argue that an employee expressing their views about the president on a non-ESPN platform shouldn’t be punished.

For those pointing to Curt Schilling’s firing, it should be noted that Schilling repeatedly posted controversial and often offensive material to his social media pages, and was warned several times by ESPN to stop doing so before he was fired.

However, people on the left who are attacking ESPN for even issuing a statement are also being somewhat hypocritical. These are the same people who attacked another ESPN employee Sage Steele for expressing her displeasure that an anti-Trump protest affected her travel plans. If you’re going to demand that ESPN respond to that situation, you can’t get mad if they respond to Hill’s comments, especially since they didn’t suspend her.

But at the same time, ESPN is being hypocritical for reprimanding Hill as well. The network has repeatedly chastised reporters and on-air talent for expressing their political views and commenting on things outside of sports. And yet at the same time, ESPN is more than happy to bring up the Colin Kaepernick situation whenever possible.

For the past year, ESPN has devoted countless hours by making their on-air talent argue about Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem and the ensuing controversy. That story is entirely political. It touches on issues such as race relations, police brutality and even Donald Trump, who has previously taken credit for Kaepernick finding a job in the NFL.

For ESPN to come out and reprimand an employee for making a political statement is ridiculous when they’re more than happy to start a race debate in order to attract viewers. Their statement after Hill’s tweets should’ve said, “We don’t condone on-air talent make these types of statements, unless it’s between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on 'First Take!'”