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ESPN Suspends Host Jemele Hill Over Critical Tweets (Photo)

| by Daniel Barnes
ESPN

ESPN has suspended "SportsCenter" host Jemele Hill for two weeks after she made several tweets that were critical of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and alluded to advertisers potentially boycotting the NFL.

On Oct. 8, Hill posted several tweets about Jones after he said any Cowboys player who "disrespects the flag" will not play, according to KTLA.

"Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones," Hill tweeted. "If they don't kneel, some will see them as sellouts."

Later tweets from Hill suggested that people not buy Cowboys merchandise or brands which advertise with the Cowboys. She also called for advertisers to reject Jones' statement so the burden is not placed "squarely on the players."

"Just so we're clear: I'm not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami [with] anthem directives," said Hill's final tweet on the subject.

In a statement released Oct. 9, ESPN announced that Hill was suspended following "a second violation" of the station's social media guidelines.

"She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet," the statement continued. "In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision." 

Hill's first violation of the network's social media guidelines came in September, when she posted tweets calling President Donald Trump a "white supremacist" and "the most ignorant, offensive president of [her] lifetime."

Hill apologized to ESPN for casting the network in an "unfair light" but stood by her statements against Trump, according to The Washington Post. 

That didn't sit well with the White House, causing Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to tell reporters that Hill's tweets were a "fireable" offense. 

After her suspension, Trump personally attacked Hill on Twitter. 

"With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have 'tanked,' in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!" he tweeted. 

CNN Money reports that ESPN had 90 million subscribers as of September 2016. The network's high-water mark for subscribers was 100 million in 2010.

Trump had previously applauded Jones for his decision requiring players to stand for the national anthem. 

"A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect out Flag. 'Stand for Anthem or sit for game!'" Trump tweeted. 

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