College Sports

ESPN’s Jemele Hill leaving SportsCenter

ESPN’s Jemele Hill is leaving SportsCenter to go to The Undefeated.
ESPN’s Jemele Hill is leaving SportsCenter to go to The Undefeated. AP

Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN’s SportsCenter, is leaving the show to work for The Undefeated, an ESPN website that covers race sports and culture, she announced on Twitter Friday.

Hill and ESPN said the decision to leave her 6 p.m. SportsCenter show was hers.

“She came to us,” Andy Hall, a spokesperson for ESPN said in an email. “Jemele is very happy with outcome – gets to play to her strengths and interests.

“Michael Smith will continue hosting SportsCenter at 6 p.m. and is looking forward to working with SportsCenter team to continue to evolve the show.”

Hill wrote in a tweet that she wanted to get back to reporting, writing and commentary.

“I chose to work with The Undefeated because I respect their passion, creativity and story telling,” Hill wrote. “I have a lot of friends and people I’ve admired there for a long time now. I’m honored to now be on their team.”

Hill and ESPN’s announcement comes three months after she was suspended for violating the company’s social media policy for a second time.

In September, Hill, who was a sports writer at The News & Observer from 1997-99, used Twitter to call President Donald Trump a white supremacist, causing an uproar on social media and in the White House. ESPN at the time distanced itself from her tweet. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, called Hill’s tweet about Trump, “a fireable offense.”

In October, she was disciplined for tweeting about Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. After Jones said he would bench any player who kneeled during the national anthem, Hill responded with a series of tweets, including one that was in response to another tweet suggesting people contact the Cowboys’ advertisers’ corporate offices.

“If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers,” Hill tweeted in October. “Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.”

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander