Jemele Hill, the ESPN SportsCenter host who earlier this week called Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, says her comment about the president “expressed my personal beliefs.”
Hill, in the statement she posted on Twitter late Wednesday, then went on to say, “My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called out Hill in a press conference, saying her tweet is “one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”
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ESPN on Wednesday issued a statement accepting Hill’s apology, according to The Associated Press.
“Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN,” Josh Krulewitz, network spokesman, told the AP. “She has acknowledged that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology.”
Hill, who was a sports writer at The News & Observer from 1997-99, posted the tweet about Trump in a string of comments about Kid Rock, who had recently given a racially charged speech at one of his concerts.
ESPN distanced itself from Hill on Tuesday in a statement that said, “The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Staff writer Joe Johnson contributed to this story.