“You Think Being On SportsCenter Is/Should Be The Highlight Of My Life?” | Jemele Hill Savagely Claps Back At Twitter Trolls

Another day, another right-wing “media critic” with something silly to say on social media. This time it’s pro-military and anti-left author Buzz Patterson who didn’t like that ESPN’s Jalen Rose said that the term Mount Rushmore should no longer be used to define greatness. Patterson derisively tweeted he loves it when ESPN sports commentators lecture him on history and values, and sarcastically asked how that type of behavior worked for Jemele Hill.

In an epic clap back Hill tweeted, “checks bank account #WellActually…it did”

Hill is a frequent target of right-wing antagonists. She is the embodiment of everything they fear and loathe about America. An unapologetic Black woman with a platform that calls out racism, sexism and the ills of America for all to see.

During her time at ESPN she caused controversy by correctly referring to then President Donald Trump as a white supremacist. ESPN and Hill were excoriated by right-wing media as being “woke” and “too liberal.” Never mind the fact that ESPN is run by Disney and since Jimmy Pitaro took the reins of the company in 2018 became even more conservative.

Twitter trolls love to use Hill’s short stint as SportsCenter host with Michael Smith as a mark against her. Somehow proving their belief that she is not talented or was a diversity hire.

“I wasn’t a good fit for the ‘SportsCenter’ culture. Definitely not a good fit for the management that was overseeing ‘SportsCenter’ at the time. And I got tired. I got really tired of fighting everyday to be myself,” Hill said Thursday on Kenny Mayne’s podcast “Hey Mayne.” “By far ‘SportsCenter’ was the most high-profile job I’ve had at ESPN. It was the best-paying job I had at ESPN. But it’s also the worst job I had at ESPN.”

But as she points out “SportsCenter” was not the highlight of her life or career. In fact Hill’s career has taken off since she removed the ESPN shackles.

She is a staff writer at The Atlantic launched the very popular “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” podcast and was cast in the documentary series “Everything’s Gonna Be All White” on Showtime. 

Hill is the kind of sports commentator that Patterson and others like him wish would “just stick to sports.” Despite the fact that sports, society, politics and culture have been intertwined since the beginning.

We should celebrate commentators and journalists like Hill who take sports leaders to task over important issues. If the president of the United States is going to call athletes “sons of bitches” for not standing for the national anthem, it is sports media’s job to not only cover it but analyze and offer opinion and insight as to why.

No matter what people like Patterson think, sports is not immune to the larger society in which it inhabits. Nor are the people who participate or cover it limited to only thinking and offering opinions about sports.

That’s the beauty in the freedom this country allows, that people like Patterson claim to love and value, except of course when it offends their sensibilities.

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