In a series of tweets, ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill claimed, among other things, that President Trump is a white supremacist who surrounds himself with other white supremacists, and that he only won the presidency because of his skin color.
She also insisted that Trump is ignorant, offensive, and unqualified and unfit to serve as U.S. president.
Jemele Hill and Michael Smith host the 6 p.m. Eastern time version of SportsCenter, which has been particularly struggling in the ratings, as has the entire network itself generally. In another tweet, Hill -- who reportedly earns a seven-figure salary from the Worldwide Leader in Sports -- indicated that she feels threatened by white supremacy.
ESPN public relations disavowed Hill's social media comments, however, in a statement released earlier today on its Twitter feed.
"The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate."
ESPN has lost millions of subscribers in the past several years through cord-cutting. Some observers such as vocal ESPN critic and Fox Sports Radio Host Clay Travis maintain that part of the audience erosion is the result of the network's progressive, social justice content that alienates viewers who just want to relax and watch games or game highlights.
In an essay on the ESPN website published in December 2016, public editor (i.e., ombudsman) Jim Brady conceded that the network had moved in a leftward direction, alienating some of its audience.
In an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Travis claimed that there won't be any actual career consequences for Jemele Hill at ESPN because her views supposedly reflect those of the Bristol, Connecticut-based sports network's executives. He contrasted that with the treatment of former ESPN on-air personalities Curt Shilling, who was fired for posting an anti-transgender meme, and Mike Ditka, who Travis claims was let go after criticizing Obama.
"Nothing actually happened, because Jemele Hill is saying what the higher-ups at ESPN believe...She continues to do her show because Bob Iger and John Skipper, the CEO of Disney and the president of ESPN, agree with her and want left-leaning politics to be the forward-facing front of ESPN...I don't know how people who voted for Donald Trump can feel comfortable at all watching ESPN when they know the values that network espouses and how unwelcome their own values are."