ESPN Emails Staff After 'SportsCenter' Anchor's Criticism of Trump - NBC 6 South Florida

ESPN Emails Staff After 'SportsCenter' Anchor's Criticism of Trump

The network said in a statement Hill has a right to her personal beliefs, but not to share them on a public platform

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    NEWSLETTERS

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on her statement Friday in a back and forth with NBC's Hallie Jackson, calling for ESPN to fire "SportsCenter" host Jemele Hill for her anti-Trump tweets. (Published Monday, Sept. 18, 2017)

    President Donald Trump lashed out at ESPN on Twitter Friday after "SportsCenter" host Jemele Hill tweeted earlier this week that Trump was a "white supremacist" and "bigot."

    Hill later apologized for her tweets and ESPN said Thursday it has accepted the apology.

    Trump on Friday tweeted: "ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!"

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday also double downed on comments she made earlier calling Hill's comments outrageous and a fire-able offense based off of ESPN's previous history for suspending or terminating talent for making poltical commentary but adding “It’s not my decision to make for a private company.”

    ESPN said in a statement that Hill has a right to her personal beliefs, but not to share them on a public platform that implies she is speaking for the network. ESPN said she's acknowledged that her tweets crossed the line.

    ESPN President John Skipper on Friday sent a company-wide email to staff about its social media policies and "issues of significant debate in our country," NBC News reported.

    Skipper did not refer to Hill or Trump by name in the email sent Friday, but wrote that while "ESPN is not a political organization" its employees "are citizens and appropriately want to participate in the public discussion."

    "At a minimum, comments should not be inflammatory or personal," Skipper wrote in the email. The email was not released by ESPN and was posted online, but an ESPN representative confirmed it was accurate.

    In her own tweet, Hill said she regretted that her comments painted her company in an unfair light.

    Earlier the Democratic Coalition, an anti-Trump Super PAC, filed an ethics complaint against Sanders with the Office of Government Ethics for her comments regarding Hill's employment status with ESPN.