Thursday, June 19, 2008 | 8:14am
ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill Suspended For Comment: ‘Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim’
She may be the example pro-Imus folks have been waiting for.
A few months ago I wrote a post about the controversy surrounding Vogue Magazine’s cover photo of Labron James and Giselle Bundchen. Â ESPN Columnist Jemele Hill was outraged by the image suggesting the publication depicted James as a savage and Bundchen as the damsel in distress. Her scathing article on ESPN.com caused a great bit of heat for Vogue.Â Well now it appearts that now Hill is in her own hot water.Â She has been suspended following a piece where she equated fan support for the Boston Celtics in their NBA Finals series to that of Hitler. In her column entitled “Deserving or not, I still hate the Celtics,” Hill wrote:
“Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim. It’s like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.”
The two offensive statements were taken out of her online column hours after it was posted, but not before a torrent of negative feedback was unleashed by ESPN.com readers, as well as Celtics fans and other sports columnists.
Hills comments have agitated the public in a number of different ways from ESPN.com readers, Holocaust survivors, Celtic Fans, other columnist and sports talk radio hosts.
The major problem facing Hill, WHO I ABSOLUTELY LOVE as a knowledgeable sports writer is that we’re living the post Don Imus/ Rutgers hoops squad era.Â After the radio jock who was dismissed for referring to the Rutgers woman’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” many Imus supporters viewed his firing as a double standard and have been waiting for a BLACK journalist to slip up to illustrate their point.Â So although she’s only expected to be suspended, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets made an example out of. Â
Hill has issued the following apology however:
“I deeply regret the comment I made in a column Saturday. In expressing my passion for the NBA and my hometown of Detroit I showed very poor judgment in the words that I used. I pride myself on an understanding of, and appreciation for, diversity – and there is no excuse for the appalling lack of sensitivity in my comments. It in no way reflects the person I am. I apologize to all of my readers and I thank them for holding me accountable. This has been an important lesson for me and illustrates that, like many people, I still have a lot of growing and learning to do.”
Clearly she effed up but my question is if editors are reading these columns shouldn’t they be held accountable for allowing the material to go to press?Â Its like its only controversial if the public says so.Â Although her comments were later edited online it wasn’t until after ESPN had received hundreds of emails from disseminated and outraged readers.