Published On: April 15, 2019 04:10 PM NPT By: Associated Press

Jemele Hill still speaking her mind, this time on podcast

Jemele Hill still speaking her mind, this time on podcast

Photo: AP


Jemele Hill has moved on, but not from speaking her mind. The former ESPN host, best known to the non-sports world for tweets about President Donald Trump that provoked the White House to unsuccessfully seek her firing, launches a weekly podcast Monday on Spotify. On the show, ‘Jemele Hill is Unbothered,’ she’ll conduct interviews and give commentary on sports, politics and culture.

Coupled with a regular gig writing for The Atlantic magazine and her engagement in December to writer Ian Wallace, the 43-year-old Hill does seems unbothered. Happy, even.

Some of her recent Atlantic pieces seem to give a road map for her podcast. She’s written about how NFL players need to look out for their own interests because their teams probably won’t, a “force field” erected by the black community that protected singer R Kelly from consequences related to his behavior and how — after watching Barack and Michelle Obama interact with Trump at the funeral for former President George H W Bush — she wished they wouldn’t always “go high.”

Her interests are no surprise to anyone who follows the social media feed of this former sportswriter who dreamed of one day writing for Sports Illustrated. “The beauty of sports is that it always provided a platform to talk about all of these other things,” she said. “We’ve always made the mistake of making it seem like the rest of the universe is happening in one place and sports is happening over here, when often sports, politics, social media and entertainment have been entwined. It’s really not all that big of a leap.”

Hill became a newspaper sports columnist at 28 and when first hired at ESPN, it was as a writer, not a television host. Hill joined ESPN in 2006 from the Orlando Sentinel. She eventually moved in front of the cameras, although her highest-profile assignment, the 6 pm ‘SportsCenter’ with Michael Smith, didn’t quite click with viewers.

Her Twitter battle with Trump unfolded in September 2017. She called him a white supremacist and “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.” ESPN distanced itself from her comments and the controversy that ensued, but didn’t discipline her. A month later, she was suspended for violating social media policy for tweeting that fans should effectively boycott the advertisers of the Dallas Cowboys after owner Jerry Jones said players who disrespected the American flag would not play on his team.

Hill officially left ESPN in September 2018.

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