Jemele Hill thinks she wasn’t suited to do “SportsCenter” at ESPN because of the “culture” of the company, she said Thursday on Kenny Mayne’s podcast, “Hey Mayne.”
“By far, ‘SportsCenter’ was the most high-profile job I’ve had at ESPN,” Hill said. “It was the highest paying job I had at ESPN. But it’s also the worst job I’ve had at ESPN.
Hill said former “SportsCenter” presenters Mayne, Mike Greenberg and Scott Van Pelt told her not to let “SportsCenter” bosses change her, in terms of the show’s creative direction.
“I wasn’t a good fit for the ‘SportsCenter’ culture,” Hill said. “Definitely not a good fit for the management overseeing ‘SportsCenter’ at the time. And I got tired. I got really tired of fighting every day to be myself.
Although Hill and Michael Smith were promoted to ‘SportsCenter’ anchors to try and bring their personalities to the show, with less of a traditional leaning towards their hour, things went awry thanks to their clashes with management. and Hill’s clashes with then-President Donald. Asset.
Hill called Trump a “white supremacist” in September 2017, leading the company to rebuke her in a statement. A month later, she called for a Dallas Cowboys announcer boycott because Jerry Jones said he would bench players who knelt during the national anthem — and she was suspended by the network.
“It’s a conservative culture at ESPN, and so this idea that ESPN is run by flowery kids is just a lie,” Hill said. ” It is not like that. Quite the contrary. As you know all too well.
“Once [critics] started seeing my face, Michael’s face got more prominent… then suddenly ESPN is too liberal because what they’re really trying to say is, ‘Oh, y’all must be liberal-leaning because you have all these women and all these black people who are suddenly on my TV every day. This therefore means that this enterprise has certainly yielded to a brigade of liberalism. ”
After that controversy erupted, Hill said, management didn’t want her or Smith on camera and sought to make their edition of “SportsCenter” more traditional.
“They were so preoccupied with the headlines,” she said, “what was being written and all the right-wing media that was constantly coming in for our show.”
In January 2018, Hill left “SportsCenter” for ESPN’s “The Undefeated” and by October of that year she had left the world leader altogether, taking a job with The Atlantic.
“It wasn’t fun for me, and that’s why I left,” Hill said. “I wasn’t kicked out, I chose to leave because the experience was no longer fun for me.”
New York Post