ESPN anchor Jemele Hill penned a powerful essay on 'doing the right thing' after her tweets criticizing President Trump became a story of national interest earlier this month.
The SportsCenter co-host opened up on Wednesday about watching her employer "become a punching bag" because of her comments calling the president a white supremacist.
"Twitter wasn’t the place to vent my frustrations," Hill admits, further stating that the social media platform isn't the best place for "nuanced, complicated discussions" about race and social issues.
She connects the feeling she had of letting her employer and colleagues down to a story from her childhood, when she disappointed her grandmother by succumbing to peer pressure from friends and stealing beer from the fridge.
"I was heartbroken because I felt like I had let my grandmother, who was one of my best friends, down," Hill wrote. "And there is no feeling worse than letting down the people who love and support you."
That feeling of disappointment again reared its head during Hill's meeting with ESPN president John Skipper, which the SportsCenter anchor cites as "the first time I had ever cried in a meeting."
While Hill acknowledged that Twitter was not the best place for her comments to be made, she did not back down from her opinions. Hill reemphasized that she feels this is a challenging time for the United States, especially for marginalized citizens suffering from the effects racism and white supremacy.
"As a career journalist, I can’t pretend that I don’t see what’s happening in our world," Hill stated. She referenced the president's recent attacks on NFL players protesting during the national anthem as well as his choice to disinvite Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors from the White House as reasons why staying silent is no longer an option for her, despite politics not being her job.
"Yes, my job is to deliver sports commentary and news," Hill wrote. "But when do my duties to the job end and my rights as a person begin?"
You can read Hill's entire personal essay on The Undefeated.