ESPN has been facing staunch criticism from conservatives in the midst of the recent national anthem controversy dominating media headlines. Now, the network is facing a boycott from liberals, many of whom are furious over the sports network's suspension of host Jemele Hill.
Sports anchor Jemele Hill was first suspended for two weeks on Monday, October 9th. Hill's suspension came after she violated ESPN's social media guidelines for the second time in two weeks so that she could criticize President Donald Trump.
In September, Hill made headlines after she made a controversial comment about Trump, referring to him as a "white supremacist." After this comment, ESPN didn't take any action against Hill but did make clear to viewers that Hill's comments did not reflect the views of the organization. The comments were outlandish, but since they were a first, they were overlooked by the network.
NFL Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones then informed his players that in order for them to play, they would first need to stand during the national anthem. Those who refuse to stand for the national anthem, he said, would not be allowed to play during games. Hill responded by encouraging her followers to boycott the sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys. This was the comment that ultimately resulted in her two weeks suspension.
In response to Hill's suspension, many liberals have announced that they will boycott ESPN for their action, arguing that she has a first amendment right — which apparently, in their view, completely trumps the right of a business owner to control what is said on his private property. These liberals think that Hill's freedom of speech has been violated.
Yesterday, it was reported that Judge Greg Mathis, the man famous for his reality television show "Judge Mathis," voiced his disapproval of the decision to TMZ. You can learn more about this in our recent story.
The Daily Caller is now reporting that other liberals are voicing disapproval, and are even boycotting, the network over their decision to suspend Hill. The backlash against ESPN for Hill's suspension began almost immediately after the announcement.
“Dear [ESPN] suspending [Jemele Hill] doesn’t make you seem biased, bigoted or racist all,” actor Greg Proops wrote. “Boo. Not watching till she’s back.”
Actress Debra Messing has also spoken out.
“First of all, Jemele Hill and anyone else has the right to express their views,” Sharpton told TMZ.
He continued, "To try and silence her will not silence many of us that feel what Jerry Jones has done is put the Cowboys players in a position of either I must sell my right to express my feelings, my freedom of speech, my right to protest in order to do my trade and do my business. That is, in my opinion, disrespecting what the flag is supposed to stand for.”
“We will not be shut down and we will not be suspended and we will not stand for her to be suspended,” he added.
You can watch Sharpton's comments in the video below.
The Daily Caller also reports that the White House called Hill's remarks a "fireable offense" and Trump has demanded an apology from the network.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section of our Facebook page. In breaking news, Donald Trump just spoke out about Goodwell's bold NFL decision.