The last few days in sports media have focused on the debates surrounding ESPN personality Jemele Hill. On Monday, Hill took to Twitter and gave her thoughts on Donald Trump, calling the President a white supremacist, saying he was: “the most offensive, ignorant president of my lifetime.” This caused controversy and led to a response from ESPN.
Things really took off when the White House got involved. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on ESPN to fire Hill, while Trump himself tweeted that he wanted someone to “apologize for untruth!”
While a number of Hill’s colleagues have come to her defense, others have taken to the internet to express their dismay in how ESPN handled the situation. The catch: They are not airing their grievances in public. Instead, they are using a private message board to debate the situation. Deadspin was able to acquire screenshots of the back-and-forth on the boards. Here’s an example of one of the discussions, which centers around how ESPN responded to Hill compared to how it responded to an employee who was fired a few years back.
Both sides of the debate on Hill were represented. One person said: “If every word was scrutinized from ESPN employees on Social Media, this campus would be empty,” and that “[President Trump] uses [social media] as a platform to abuse his power by spewing ignorance … on a DAILY basis.”
On the flip side, one employee said they were “stunned” that people defended Hill, and that “there are roughly 63 million people who voted for and support the president, and I’m willing to bet that they’re not happy being called white supremacists. I’m certainly not.”
ESPN has come under immense scrutiny for how it has handled the Hill saga. Some are critical of the Worldwide Leader for not sticking up for an employee, while others think Hill got off easy. Apparently, there’s no consensus on this debate within the walls of Bristol, either.