Jemele Hill, one of the former co-hosts of the 6 pm “SportsCenter” program on ESPN, is no longer with the sports network, and since the split Hill has been more open than ever before when it comes to her political views, and her beliefs as a whole.
But, is Hill’s more open and expressive change for the better?
According to Sports News, Hill accepted a buyout of her $2.5 Million contract with ESPN. Hill and ESPN were able to reach an amicable decision that resulted in Hill walking away with at least seven figures.
Hill is well known for being an outspoken individual, and she freely talks about her political beliefs, and expresses them on social media; mainly Twitter.
“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacist,” Hill tweeted not too long ago. This tweet, amongst many others, led to the demise of Hill’s and ESPN professional relationship.
Hill has been even more unfiltered since the split, both in her opinions and her language.
“Sure, I mourn the idea of Cosby- as in the TV show that made me want to attend a black college and heightened the importance of a black family,” Hill tweeted on Tuesday. “But my mom is a rape survivor and I survived a rape attempt as a preteen. I have negative (expletive) about what happens to Cosby.”
When initially seeing the tweet, one might be taken aback by Hill’s new rawness, and this is just the latest of her tweets. If you look into Hill’s twitter history, it gets a little extreme. People expressing their beliefs and standing up for what they believe in is all well and good. However, the change Hill has made since leaving ESPN has not been one for the better.
Black journalists are held to a different standard, and although it is not fair, it is the reality of the world we live in, as well as the professional setting as a journalist. There is a way for black journalists to express themselves without using derogatory words, even if slurs were used against them.
“When they go low, we go high,” First Lady Michelle Obama said. Hill should follow the First Lady’s advice and think about that before she posts certain things.
Hill should not be silenced or not say what she feels, but even though she is no longer with ESPN, she is still a professional. Her name is a brand within itself. So, she is still held to a certain standard and saying certain things can potentially tarnish her brand along with perpetuating a stereotype of black journalists and black people in general.
In spite of everything, Hill was named “Journalist of the Year” by the Association of Black Journalist this year, so it is evident that her outspoken personality has had some positive things to come from it.
I still strongly feel that her most recent change isn’t for the best. As a black woman in the journalism profession, I think that Hill should try a different approach when addressing certain issues.