Jemele Hill’s Future at ESPN Uncertain After Two-Week Suspension

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch weighs in on the fate of the 'SportsCenter' co-anchor.

To put a baseball metaphor out there, it’s usually three strikes and you’re out. But at least Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch doesn’t see it that way.

In a new column, Deitsch writes that he believes, despite the fact that Jemele Hill will return from her two-week suspension for her second Twitter-related controversy on Oct. 23, “her tenure as a SportsCenter anchor is effectively over.” He also thinks that she’ll be gone from the network soon after that. “Hill cannot feel that she has management’s unwavering support given the events of the last month—and ESPN management clearly has limits to the speech it will allow from front-facing talent on social media, and particularly those representing the SportsCenter brand,” writes Deitsch.

What has given him all these ideas? Sources within the company and the gut feeling that ESPN is moving away from personality-, opinion-based programming like the SportsCenter 6 p.m. edition, which Hill and co-host Michael Smith helped launch.

Deitsch also believes that Hill has more to offer the world—just not at ESPN. “I’ve talked a lot with Hill over the years about a number of topics in sports media, from sexism to race to sports media people discussing social issues on Twitter,” writes Deitsch. “I find her to be one of the most honest brokers I deal with in sports media.”

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