Jemele Hill will return from her ESPN suspension Monday, a little more than two weeks after the network sanctioned her for suggesting that NFL fans could boycott advertisers and vendors associated with the Dallas Cowboys, whose owner, Jerry Jones, has said players will stand for the national anthem or be benched.
We haven’t heard much at all from Hill over the course of the suspension — she hasn’t been active on Twitter — but TMZ bumped into her at Los Angeles International Airport and got her to say a few words about what happened, namely that she understands why she was punished by the network.
“So, here’s how this works: It doesn’t really matter what I think. It matters to people, but here’s the reality: ESPN acted what they felt was right, and, you know, I don’t have any argument or quibble with that. I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy; I deserved that suspension,” she said.
Before the suspension, Hill had drawn the ire of her ESPN bosses when she called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter. She was warned about making such statements but was not punished at the time.
“The only thing I’ll ever apologize for is, I put ESPN in a bad spot. I’ll never take back what I said. I put them in a bad spot; that’s the truth of it. I regret the position I put them in. I regret, a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I’ll never take back what I said.”
Hill also was asked about speculation that she would leave ESPN.
“Me and ESPN are fine,” she replied. “I know it’s great conjecture to think about what might happen, but, like, we’re fine. We’re in a good place, and I’m happy to be back at the network.
“I want people to understand this: There was never any restrictions placed on me, about Twitter. So, I’ll be back on Twitter, and I’ll be my usual self.”
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