ESPN’s Jemele Hill, who gained notoriety for attacking President Donald Trump on Twitter, said she plans to eventually walk away from sports to create content about “women of color” and fight what she sees as pervasive institutional racism.
“Somebody needs to step up and save us,” Hill said during an on-stage conversation Sunday at OZY Fest.
Hill called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter last year.
ESPN did not suspend her until a later incident when she told Dallas Cowboys fans to boycott the team’s advertisers after owner Jerry Jones said he would bench players if they kneeled during the national anthem. That two-week suspension led to Hill being reassigned from her SportsCenter anchor spot to a lesser role at ESPN’s website, The Undefeated, which covers the intersection of sports and race.
As Hill discussed her future she let it be known that sports would not play a large part if at all.
“It’s sort of a realization… I’ll be candid. Obviously some of the things that have happened in the last 10, 11 months have played a role in that. But even before any of that stuff happened with Donald Trump, I was feeling… I just wondered to myself, when my contract with ESPN was up, in a few years, whether or not I would continue on… in sports period,” Hill said. “There is a real concentration, still a real need, on stories about women of color… that will be a huge focus of what I do.”
“It feels very much like this next iteration of my career will be more about me being behind the camera, creating content, writing scripted and unscripted shows and movies than it will be in sports,” Hill said. “There is a part of me that feels sad about the possibility, the very real possibility, my connection [with sports media] may end sooner than I thought it would.”
Hill said that she has been asked . to run for office but that politics wasn’t for her.
“I’ve got skeletons… that’s not my calling,” Hill said of the idea.
Her comments sparked speculation on Twitter that she would be leaving ESPN sooner rather than later, which Hill tried to clarify.
“Headline might be a little sexier than what I actually said. Plotting the next 10-to-15 years of my career is kind of the way you have to think in this business. There are other things I want to do besides sports, but plenty I still want to do/will do at ESPN,” Hill tweeted on Monday regarding an OZY headline stating she planned to leave ESPN.
Headline might be a little sexier than what I actually said. Plotting the next 10-to-15 years of my career is kind of the way you have to think in this business. There are other things I want to do besides sports, but plenty I still want to do/will do at ESPN https://t.co/jrQU0QjVLa
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) July 23, 2018
Hill also told the audience that racism is “far too comfortable and too profitable” and that we can’t get everybody to agree if, where and how it existed because doing so would mean that they are complicit in its existence.