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Jemele Hill is leaving SportsCenter

SportsCenter co-hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill at the 49th NAACP Image Awards (Photo: Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
SportsCenter co-hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill at the 49th NAACP Image Awards (Photo: Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

Months after being disingenuously chastised by the White House press secretary and briefly suspended by her network, Variety reports that SportsCenter co-host Jemele Hill is leaving the program ahead of Super Bowl LII. Hill, who hosted the 6 p.m. hour of SportsCenter with Michael Smith for just under a year, has a four-year contract with ESPN, so she will stay on with the network in different capacities.

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There’s no indication that the controversy over Hill’s tweets—including calling Trump a white supremacist and encouraging a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys because of the team owner’s opposition to #TakeAKnee protests—led to her decision to move on. But ESPN did suspend Hill in October after the boycott remarks, which it called a second violation of the network’s “social media guidelines” for its employees. Hill herself acknowledged in December that Twitter is not the appropriate forum for any nuanced discussion about race and oppression, though she stands by her words: “I don’t regret what I said or even the language that I used. It’s just the where. I think the where is problematic.”

The former co-host is expected to join ESPN’s The Undefeated, a web venture that explores the intersection of sports, race, and culture, as well as host issues-based forums and possibly take on podcasting.

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