ESPN has been getting heat from Trump supporters ever since Jemele Hill called Donald Trump a white supremacist on her personal Twitter page. And if the company had it their way, she would have spent at least one evening off the air from her show for the transgression.
On Thursday (September 14), sources close to the situation told ThinkProgress.org that ESPN was looking to take Hill off of the air the previous night. When co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without her, the network reached out to two other black ESPN personalities to reign the show for that evening instead. Those two hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, both declined.
After the failed attempts to keep her off the air Wednesday night, ESPN reportedly called Hill back to host the show - which viewers saw as always, with both hosts on the screen.
On Thursday evening, a spokesman for ESPN denied ThinkProgress' report. "We never asked any other anchors to do last night's show. Period," they said in a statement.
On Monday (Sept. 11), Hill plainly tweeted, "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists." While many agree with her sentiment, several supporters of Donald Trump called for the boycott of ESPN. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for the firing of Hill, calling her comments a "fireable offense."
Hill responded by taking to social media to explain her comments. "My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs," tweeted Hill. "My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remain unconditional."