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Jemele Hill Seals ESPN Departure With Reflective Statement

Jemele Hill is preparing to embark on a new career journey after spending 12 years at ESPN.

Jemele Hill is preparing to embark on a new career journey after spending 12 years at ESPN. The sports journalist announced her retreat from the company Friday morning (Sept. 14), writing, "This was the place where I became the best version of myself, both personally and professionally."

After the network's Numbers Never Lie show in 2011 was rebranded as His & Hers in 2014 featuring Hill and co-host Michael Smith, the former rose to another level of prominence at the broadcasting entity. Given the show's success, which was formatted after a podcast of the same name that Hill and Smith created, the pair were then contracted to host a primetime SportsCenter. In her departure note, Hill thanked Smith for his friendship.

"I love you and you made me better in every possible way," she said. "I'm proud of everything we did because nobody sold tapes out the trunk quite like us." In late 2017, Hill was suspended by ESPN after she referred to Donald Trump as a white supremacist. The 42-year-old public figure also remained outspoken on the NFL's treatment of its players who kneel during the national anthem. All of her thoughts were amplified on her Twitter account, but for ESPN, that was a direct violation of its social media conduct policy and led to Hill's disbandment.

In a piece for The Undefeated — which is owned by ESPN — following the Michigan native's suspension, she wrote that sports and politics can longer exist on two separate fields. "The events of last weekend showed that the intersection of sports and politics is the most pronounced we've seen in decades," Hill wrote. "Sports always has been intertwined with social change in America."

Read Hill's full statement below.

READ: Jemele Hill Is Named NABJ’s ‘Journalist Of The Year’

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LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA.
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LeBron James Demands Justice For Breonna Taylor During Press Conference

At his first post-game press conference ahead of the relaunch of the NBA season, LeBron James used the media spotlight to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.

“First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation,” the Lakers star told the media on Thursday (July 23).

“We want the cops arrested who committed that crime. In the state of Kentucky what’s going on down there, I know a lot of people are feeling the same,” said James. “Us as the NBA, and [as] players, me as one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know, and I want the state of Kentucky to know, that we feel for her and we want justice. That’s what it’s all about. What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong.”

LeBron James opened his press conference speaking about Breonna Taylor. LeBron: “We want the cops arrested that committed that crime.” pic.twitter.com/UjGUJRZ5rG

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 24, 2020

LeBron James on Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and speaking out on racial inequality pic.twitter.com/hJFwePA61B

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 24, 2020

Taylor, 26, was shot to death in March after Louisville Police Officers Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison and Jonathan Mattingly raided her home on a no-knock warrant.

James also paid tribute to Taylor by writing her name on the sneakers that he wore during Thursday's preseason game.

Justice 4 Breonna Taylor ✍️ @KingJames pic.twitter.com/LoXNLMD1Kr

— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) July 23, 2020

Kentucky AG  Daniel Cameron has fended off criticism for failing to bring charges against the officers more than 100 days after the fatal shooting.

The case remains under investigation.

 

 

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NFL Will Reportedly Play Black National Anthem When Season Kicks Off

The NFL is reportedly adding “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to its playlist. The Black national anthem will be played (and possibly performed) during week 1 of the upcoming season, ESPN reported on Thursday (July 2).

The song will reportedly play ahead of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” during pregame festivities.

The move, which comes four years after Colin Kaepernick began his on-the-field protest against police brutality, reflects the latest shift in the league’s ever-changing stance on the Black Lives Matter movement. After previously banning players from protesting during the National Anthem, and quietly settling collusion lawsuits brought on by Kaepernick and Eric Reid, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted last month that the league was wrong for essentially silencing players and ignoring issues of police brutality, racial injustice, and systematic oppression.

“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black people, Goodell said in a video statement. “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are expected to kick off the 2020-2021 NFL season on Sept. 10.

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Bubba Wallace Noose Incident Was Not A Hate Crime, FBI Says

An FBI investigation into a noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage door at the Talladega Superspeedway had been their since last October. After a “thorough review of the facts and evidence,” the bureau determined that Wallace, the only Black full-time NASCAR driver, was not the victim of a hate crime.

“Fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway.  After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent Johnnie Sharp Jr. said in a joint statement on Tuesday (June 23).

Although the noose was found in Garage 4, “nobody could have known” that Wallace would be assigned that garage number.

NASCAR released a similar statement confirming that “photographic evidence” concluded that the garage pull “roped fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since last fall.”

“We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba,” NASCAR's statement continued. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.” The incident came two weeks after NASCAR banned the Confederate Flag.

pic.twitter.com/NCYiNBSuFn

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020

After the noose was found Wallace stated in part that the “despicable act of racism and hatred leave me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society.” Later that day, Wallace was joined by all 39 NASCAR drivers and their crews as they pushed his car down the pit road in a show of solidarity.

The 26-year-old Alabama native has said that the murder of Ahmaud Arbery inspired him to become more vocal  about the Black Lives Matter Movement.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

✊🏾

A post shared by bubbawallace (@bubbawallace) on Jun 7, 2020 at 1:58pm PDT

Despite a small number of Black drivers to join NASCAR the sport remains notoriously segregated but recent event have brought on more Black fans. “Supporting and thanking the pre-existing fans, and encouraging the new ones,” Wallace captioned an Instagram photo of him greeting fans. “For all of those new to the sport, we welcome you with open arms.”

 

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Supporting and thanking the pre-existing fans, and encouraging the new ones. For all of those new to the sport, we welcome you with open arms.

A post shared by bubbawallace (@bubbawallace) on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:42am PDT

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