ESPN’s Jemele Hill — who called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” last year — said that his remarks on standing for the national anthem in his State of the Union address were a form of “racial pornography” designed to stoke his base.
Trump, who told Congress that “we stand for the national anthem” during his speech last week, has previously said the NFL players who don’t stand for the anthem should be fired.
Hill made her comments to MSNBC host Al Sharpton, who said Trump used the State of the Union to take another shot at people who were protesting injustices.
“I wasn’t surprised, and I think this is going to be probably a constant thing for the president, because it’s a very easy dog-whistle — it’s low-hanging fruit,” Hill said. “It’s what I like to call racial pornography because it’s a way to stoke his base. Look, in a weird way, I think it’s kind of weirdly brilliant because he has been able to hijack the entire conversation and to make this about patriotism.”
Hill went on to add that if people understood just the smallest bit of American history, they would understand that what the players did by protesting is the most patriotic thing that they could have done.
ESPN suspended Hill after her comments last year about Trump. She has since left her high profile slot on SportsCenter to write for The Undefeated, an ESPN blog that “explores the intersection of race, sports and culture,” which makes another suspension unlikely.