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Thomas Gallatin / October 10, 2017

ESPN Suspension — Gotta Protect the Revenue

The network supports player protests, but suspends anchor Jamele Hill for her boycott fumble.

In a capitalist economic system, the cold hard truth is that every business is dependent upon consumers buying its product. Even that leftist mega sports network known as ESPN will put aside its leftist street cred when serious money is on the line. On Monday, ESPN announced that it had suspended Jemele Hill for two weeks following another inflammatory tweet from the anchor. In response to the news that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had instructed his players to stand for the National Anthem or be benched, Hill tweeted, “This play always work [sic]. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s [Jerry Jones] statement, boycott his advertisers.”

Upon announcing Hill’s suspension ESPN released the following statement:

> Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.

Recall that Hill recently insultingly tweeted that Donald Trump was a “white supremacist” and “the most ignorant, offensive president” of her lifetime. At the time, ESPN only spoke with Hill but chose to take no further action. But an employee calling for a boycott of companies whose ad revenue not only supports the Dallas Cowboys but also ESPN hits just a little too close to home.

ESPN has no problem supporting NFL players’ right to protest, as if their First Amendment rights were at stake (which they are not), but when its own business is endangered by the free speech of an employee (and not even on company time) it sees no problem in administering discipline. Should NFL owners not be entitled to the same right?

So long as ESPN continues its leftist social “justice” crusade of infusing politically correct virtue signaling into all its sports coverage, it can only expect to see the further hemorrhaging of viewers and sports fans.

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