This is the tweet that caused all of this
On the surface, it looks harmless and doesn’t look any different than most of the things I read on social media in regards to our President.
Except for one thing. Jemele is a public figure and works for one of the biggest networks on television, ESPN. Once she signed that contract she is not only an employee but also considered a representative of that company. So anything that she says or does on tv or off of tv (social media included) represents ESPN.
It’s similar to when I was in the Air Force. Everything I did, whether it be online or offline, on the clock or off the clock (Ha!) I represented that branch of the military. In hindsight, it is a miracle that they didn’t kick me out for some of the things I posted or did off duty. If they did I most definitely wouldn’t have a leg to stand on because well I agreed to this when I signed that contract.
So let’s circle back to ESPN. This large company that receives money from multiple sponsors. I imagine that outside of the exposure that ESPN has one of the major selling points is that they do not have a bias politically. This is why you saw the Hank Williams Jr.s, the Curt Schillings and the Linda Cohn’s get fired or suspended whenever speaking on politics. Whether it be about former President Obama, Hilary Clinton or politics in general. Even if their comments were not on ESPN these people still suffered consequences for their actions.
This is why I would understand if ESPN suspended or fired her. It is a conflict of interest for the company and it could potentially hurt their bottom line.
I laugh when I hear people yell, well she has freedom of speech. Yes, she does but there is also something called consequences for your actions. If she was an independent company or she owned her own company she could say whatever she wanted and not have to worry about any backlash. However, when she decided to sign that contract for ESPN all bets were off.
Maybe this makes me sound like a sellout or Tom or whatever but I am just looking at this situation from a logical and somewhat professional point of view.
When you aren’t your own boss this is what happens. You sign away certain rights and privileges once you decide to work for someone else. Not saying it is right or wrong but this is the reality that we all face as employees.
What I do like is the response by Hill’s coworkers and people in general. They seem to be supporting her and having her back. I have even heard that people are threatening to boycott ESPN if she is fired. Good for them. It is nice when you can mess up and people will still have your back. I say this because this is really all that it was. Ms. Hill was doing what most of us do on Twitter. Sharing personal thoughts and feelings. She got caught up and posted something that while it may be the truth, it jeopardized her career and the company she works for.
The reaction to Ms. Hill is what I wish people had for Kaepernick. Of course, this simple tweet isn’t remotely close to what Kaepernick did but just imagine this. Imagine if his coworkers in the NFL took a stand and said they wouldn’t play if he didn’t get a job or spoke out more about him being blackballed?
I remember, maybe a month ago someone was asking football player Dez Bryant about the Kaep situation and kneeling during the anthem and Dez basically said he can’t comment on it because he has kids to feed. Translation: If I kneel I could get in trouble with management and I do not want to lose my job. One of the loudest people who had something negative to say was Jemele Hill. She wrote about him and other athletes not taking a stand in April of this year and then this happened.
They continued to exchange words and the story eventually died down.
So now we slide into another slippery slope. Telling people what they should and shouldn’t do. There are so many ways to boycott or help your people. If Dez is using his platform to help people in his community *(which he said he was) I see no issue with it. Hell, look at Sammy Davis Jr. the guy people called a sellout and coon and everything else. While people were belittling him, he was the main person out here paying to bail civil rights leaders out of jail, quietly. See, there are so many ways to “help” your people and I think there should be a balance. I like the Kaepernick way because he went all out, no fear whatsoever. He not only took a stand that cost him employment he also put his money where his mouth was and donated money and time. Everyone isn’t built this way, for better or worse. For those who aren’t they can be more tactful and use the money that “the man” gives them to help our people. That could be providing money, jobs, programs for kids or anything, hell just do something for your people lol.
So back to this Jemele Hill issue. ESPN is in a corner and in a damn near lose/lose situation. If the backlash (financially) for suspending her will be worse than keeping her then she will be fine. If not then well, she may be in trouble.
Personally, I hope that nothing happens to her. I think Ms. Hill realizes what she did and why it could potentially be an issue, hence this tweet.
Let’s hope that this will be more than enough for ESPN. If we are to believe this statement from them I think it is: The spokesman did not offer additional comment but pointed to a statement from ESPN earlier in the day that said, “Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN. She has acknowledged that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology.”
I really want Ms. Hill to keep her job. I think it is great that there is an image of a young, single, successful black woman on tv. It can only help motivate and give other women and young girls a positive role model and someone to look up to. Also there is the fact that she is actually good at her job. Now in the meantime maybe Ms. Hill should be more like Dez, lol at least on social media. Ironic I know because I never thought in a million years that I would say anyone should do anything like Dez but here we are lol.
Typing that last sentence about Dez was awkward so I will take that as a sign to stop writing lol.