Among the legion of supporters that have spoken up and publically supported ESPN’s Jemele Hill is Golden State Warriors superstar and 2017 NBA finals MVP Kevin Durant.
Durant was aware of the firestorm ignited by Hills initial tweets calling Donald Trump a bigot and a white supremacist. But once the White House felt the comments were worthy of a public denouncement and a call for Hills firing, Durant couldnt let that ride and had to at least offer his alliance.
Im behind JemeleI support her, Durant told TMZ Thursday night. Shes standing up for what she believes in. Im with it.
Its not a shock that Durant would come out in support of anyone who criticizes Donald Trump. Last month, after the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., Durant said he would not visit the White House if invited with the world champion Golden State Warriors because he doesnt respect whos in office right now.
Durant also agreed that it was dirty pool for ESPN to try and replace Jemele with another African-American reporter before coming to their senses.
Kevin Durant says he’s 100% behind Jemele Hill “standing up for what she believes in” … telling TMZ Sports he totally supports the embattled ESPN star. SUBSCRIBE — http://po.st/TMZSportsSubscribe About TMZ Sports: Some of the best stories in sports have been off the field and we’re reporting on athletes from NFL, NBA, UFC, WWE, MLB and more!
ESPN is caught in the middle of a fierce battle of ideologies and race and an evolving sports landscape. The days of them controlling the narrative is pretty much over.
Theres a shift in the African-American power structure in sports that has athletes clearly aligning themselves with certain political parties and ideologies about the country’s social state. The fact that most NBA and NFL athletes are Black and are now utilizing the power that hey had mismanaged for years, has created some reluctance from team owners, society and the office of the Presidency to adjust with the times.
Thats understandable, but as long as the most high profile, idolized and respected players in the game stand for something and support free speech, then that image of a million dollar, opinion-less, socially unconscious, money-generating, right-wing aligning, hood exploiting superstar will continue to wash away into yesteryear, paving the way for a new age of athlete empowerment that extends to the overall narrative which was previously controlled by those not of color.