ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hills historical, tumultuous and inspirational run as co-host of ESPNs groundbreaking show SC6 – the first ESPN show hosted by African-Americans at a prime 6pm time slot and geared towards a once ignored sector of ESPNs audience. – has come to an end.
@jemelehill is leaving @SportsCenter for a new role with @TheUndefeated and other ESPN projects: @SInow Media: https://t.co/9T8SZpK1en
Hill has joined the staff of The Undefeated, the ESPN microsite that fuses sports, race and culture, as well as other additional assignments. Hill, who has expressed a desire to be able to more openly speak about social issues, confirmed that she requested the new assignment.
She is expected to depart SC6 in February, which will be a sad day for many of her fans who stuck by her when she was suspended from the show and a White House spokeswoman was calling for her to be fired. Her co-host Michael Smith will need another co-anchor. It will be impossible for ESPN to duplicate the chemistry the two long-time friends share on camera and off.
With the support of her colleagues, people of color and anti-Trump groups, she weathered the storm of calling Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter and became an American hero.
Her personal experience, fused with the impact of the Colin Kaepernick protests, her struggles as a journalist in the social media age and her willingness to speak out on issues that make people uncomfortable became identifiable and an inspiration to the nation.
Jemele Hill and Michael Smith are highly critical of NFL teams that reportedly will not sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick because they find him to be embarrassing.
Earlier this month, Hill was a guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, where she openly discussed her tweets about Trump and the White House reaction to them, whether she fits into the SportsCenter paradigm, how much management discusses ratings with her, what she hopes 2018 will bring, and much more.
Some outlets are insinuating it was a demotion by ESPN brass. But the move, was at her urging and will give Hill more freedom from ESPNs strict rules to pursue her other interests.
I have a few things to say …
Her rise to fame has opened up limitless possibilities for her as a celebrity. However, Hills move from major television back to writing again shows how much she missed the pure journalistic side of being a sports reporter.
Shes always been a simple person, humble but talented, focused and fearless. It appears as if the last two years have been emotionally draining and in a way, creatively stunting for Hill. Her return to The Undefeated as a full-time employee is her way of slowing things down and focusing on what makes her happy, not what others feel she is obligated to do.
She’s changing the direction of her career a bit while she still has the power to control her own destiny.