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.
Over the last several weeks, there have been a lot of rumors about my job status. Today is my last day at ESPN.
More from me on closing one of the most special chapters in my life: pic.twitter.com/jReaH5sWhW