ESPN’s Jemele Hill, who was suspended for two weeks months ago for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on her personal Twitter account, appeared on Rev. Al Sharpton’s show “Politics Nation” and accused Trump of peddling “racial pornography.”
Sharpton asked Hill for her response to President Trump’s statement during his State of the Union address that 12-year-old Preston Sharp, a friend to veterans and special guest of First Lady Melania Trump, was a reminder of why we stand for the national anthem.
“Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance and why we proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump said during the speech.
Sharpton asked how Hill felt about Trump “[taking] a shot at people that are standing up about injustices?”
Hill replied that she wasn’t surprised because Trump is a “racial pornograph[er].”
“I wasn’t surprised, and I think this is going to be — a probably, a constant thing for the president, because it’s a very easy dog whistle, it’s low hanging fruit, it’s what I like to call ‘racial pornography,’ because it’s a way to stoke his base,” she said, according to The Sporting News.
The sports news outlet reached out to ESPN for comment about Hill’s MSNBC appearance and ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys replied that “the anthem is a sports issue.”
It’s not clear if ESPN was made aware of Hill’s appearance on “Politics Nation” in advance and approved it, but by officially calling this commentary on a “sports issue,” it seems that the MSNBC segment will not be viewed the same way by the company as Hill’s Twitter comments months ago.
Previously, as we mentioned, Hill was suspended for tweeting that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists,” and that Trump is “bigot” and “the most ignorant, offensive president of [her] lifetime.”
ESPN released a statement in October saying that Hill was suspended for violating the company’s “social media guidelines.”
Hill followed that with an apology for “paint[ing] ESPN in an unfair light.”