Jemele Hill’s Co-Host Michael Smith Just Responded To Her ESPN Suspension And It’s EPIC

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As if there hadn’t been enough drama at ESPN’s SportsCenter today, the plot just thickened.

After the network suspended Jemele Hill for her twitter thread lambasting Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for forcing his players to stand during the National Anthem, her co-host Michael Smith announced that he would not appear on SportsCenter tonight.

Mr. Smith, along with two other black anchors, had first threatened not to go on the air if ESPN caved to President Trump’s demands that Ms. Hill be fired for calling him a white supremacist.

Smith’s touching solidarity first saved Ms. Hill’s job in September and now stands again as a powerful statement on behalf of both his courageous co-host and all the black players she was defending on Twitter.

By refusing to appear on the air tonight, Michael Smith cosigned Ms. Hill’s challenge to fans not to put the full responsibility for standing up to racial injustice on sports heroes, but rather to assume some of the responsibility for shining a light on the unpunished deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police and vigilantes by boycotting the Cowboys’ advertisers.

Smith is right to stand behind Ms. Hill for four important reasons:

1. She’s right.

2. ESPN’s tweet defending Hill’s suspension falsely cited their social media policy, which in fact does leave room for sports journalists to discuss politics.

3. It highlights Jerry Jones’ hypocrisy in demanding his players stand, after he himself kneeled after President Trump called kneeling players “Sons of Bi***es.”

4. It highlights Trump’s hypocrisy in demanding the termination of anchors and athletes who protest, when he himself called for a boycott the NFL if players kept kneeling.

With the mounting support players are showing their fellow players, and Michael Smith is showing Jemele Hill, it seems that the NFL will be left without black players and ESPN will left without black anchors, if they keep penalizing them for speaking up against white supremacy.  If fans back up the athletes, as Ms. Hill suggests, the message will only echo louder.

And then the white men in charge will be revealed for the wizards behind the curtain that they really are.  Without the talented black people who make them rich, they are nothing.

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