Donald Trump kept the pressure on ESPN today following remarks by “SportsCenter” co-anchor Jemele Hill that were critical of Trump.
As we reported Thursday, Hill sent out a series of tweets calling Trump a “white supremacist” and a “bigot.” Earlier this week she followed up with a tweet expressing her regrets.
ESPN appeared to be prepared to keep Hill on the payroll. The network issued a statement Wednesday saying: “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.”
But Trump fueled the controversy this morning with a demand that ESPN apologize to him “for untruth.” Trump tweeted early today: “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!”
Hill’s original Twitter rant against Trump, sent out Monday night, included the following:
“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself [with] other white supremacists.”
“Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.”
“His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period, He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
Her tweets evoked a response Wednesday from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called Hill’s comments a “fireable offense.”
Hill apologized later on Wednesday, writing: “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”