Representatives of more than 35 civil rights and social justice organizations sent a letter to ESPN President John Skipper requesting the reinstatement of anchor Jemele Hill, who received a two-week suspension for violating the network’s social media policy for a second time.
National Action Network founder Rev. Al Sharpton, whose organization also signed the letter, said ESPN should “come to the table” or face a possible blackout if Hill is not reinstated. Sharpton previously called for a boycott of ESPN if Hill is fired.
The letter campaign is led by the Black Women’s Roundtable and Black Women for Positive Change. Other organizations supporting the effort are the NAACP, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women and 100 Black Men of America.
ESPN suspended Hill following her remarks about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team. One of Hill’s tweets said, “This play always works. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”
Stephanie Myers, co-chair of Black Women for Positive Change, said Hill’s suspension “confirms that the racism we are protesting does, indeed, exist.”