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Will ESPN Discipline Jemele Hill?

Mitsouki Garvey-Sanchez, Contributing Writer

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In a recent article in The New York Times, the conversation about discipline actions being taken against ESPN host Jemele Hill has been controversial. Hill recently posted a series of demeaning comments about the president, one calling him a “white supremacist.”  Her speech should not be constricted just because she is considered a public figure.

The issue at hand is whether or not ESPN should take action and fire her. This issue arose after the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Hill’s tweets were a “fireable offense,” and that the network “should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard,” according to the article by the New York Times. Following her response, President Trump went on twitter and stated his opinion on Hill’s comments tweeting “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming).”

The network released their statement explaining that Hill regrets that her comments painted the network in an unfair light. Explaining that she apologized for her tweets, and they accepted the apology. Nonetheless, Hill can apologize for her comments, but should not apologize for her opinion. ESPN was right for not firing Hill.

If the company would have fired her, it would have created worse backlash. The controversy of her being fired for her remarks about Trump would have turned into ESPN firing a black woman speaking about an important issue of public concern, which happened to be the president. In this day and age, freedom of speech should not be oppressed, no matter what platform you hold. Hill used her platform to speak on her thoughts of our current president. Although, many people may not agree with her, some supported her twitter rant.

Her opinion matters, yes, she is held at a higher status because she is in a spotlight daily, but does that mean she should limit her opinion to please people who may get offended? Not at all, she is entitled to speak on her beliefs, morals and opinions. She tweeted her opinion in the privacy of her own home. At that moment, she was not working or on ESPN property. Hill did not state her opinion on live television. She merely opened a discussion on twitter by stating her opinion and views of the president.

Trump wanting Hill to be terminated from the network has caused an uproar on twitter and people are weighing in with their opinion. Some think that Hill is protected under the first amendment, whereas others believe she should be fired. She did nothing wrong, she stated her opinion and has received negative comments about it, because she doesn’t support our president being in office.

As citizens, we have earned the right to practice our fundamental rights given to us by the constitution. Do not let the negative opinions of other constrict your choice to state your opinion. Hill did not let negativity turn off her mic, it pushed her to stand strong with her opinion. As college students, we want to know that we are protected to share our opinions freely on different topics that affect us daily, even if that topic is the President of the United States.

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Will ESPN Discipline Jemele Hill?