Jemele Hill Just Can’t Stop Playing The Victim

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Jemele Hill continues to do what Jemele Hill does: blame her failures on everyone else. It’s usually racism, but occasionally it’s misogyny and this week it’s her political leanings.

In a puff piece written by USA Today, Hill claims she failed at ESPN because of the company’s “conservative culture” that didn’t allow her to be herself. The quotes came from an appearance Hill made on former ESPN’er Kenny Mayne’s podcast, “Hey Mayne.”

Some of you may know, but for those who don’t, I used to work at ESPN. I detailed what it was like having non-liberal beliefs at that company. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well for me.

Hill’s claims are so laughable, I had to take a minute to gather myself off the floor to even be able to write. Let’s go through her comments one-by-one and break down the delusions.

“I wasn’t a good fit for the ‘SportsCenter’ culture. Definitely not a good fit for the management that was overseeing ‘SportsCenter’ at the time. And I got tired. I got really tired of fighting everyday to be myself.”

In this first quote, Hill replaces the word “audience” with the words “culture” and “management.” She is right. She was not a fit for the SportsCenter audience. Why?

Because the audience was rational human beings who want to kick back after a day of work and get some sports news. The audience did not want to be preached at by some overprivileged sports “journalist” who thinks she knows what’s best for them better than they do.

And if she wasn’t a good a fit for the management overseeing SportsCenter, why was she put in the role in the first place? I don’t know about anyone else, but people in charge of things at ESPN who disagreed with my worldview certainly weren’t propping me up into more prominent positions. It was quite the opposite, in fact.

Jemele Hill is a genius, apparently. Don’t make us laugh. (Getty Images)

“It’s a conservative culture at ESPN and so this idea that ESPN is being run by flower children is just a lie. That’s not how it is. It’s the opposite, if anything.”

When Hill was promoted to SportsCenter, John Skipper was the man in charge of ESPN. Skipper, who resigned from ESPN because he had a cocaine addiction and was allegedly facing an extortion attempt, has since moved on to create a new media network.

That network, Meadowlark Media, is co-led by Dan LeBatard and promised to be “the progressive sports media network.”

Oh yeah, ESPN was being run by “staunch conservative” John Skipper. Where would the audience ever get the idea that the company was liberal?

In my personal experience, I never once had a conservative supervisor at ESPN in nearly a decade of work there. In fact, I once said to a high-ranking executive that I can’t stand people who think Huffington Post is actual news instead of left-wing slant.

That exec meekly replied that they “read Huffington Post every day.” I can’t believe I didn’t fit in better with ESPN’s “conservative culture.”

Once (critics) started seeing my face, Michael’s face become more prominent… then suddenly ESPN is too liberal because what they’re really trying to say is ‘Oh, y’all must be liberal-leaning because you got all these women and all these Black people who are suddenly on my TV everyday. So that means that this company has certainly given in to a brigade of liberalism.'”

A-ha! Finally, we get to the racism card. It wouldn’t be a Jemele Hill story if racism wasn’t woven into the fabric, so I’m glad we finally got here. She decided to pair it with the misogyny here, which is a nice touch.

Let’s remember that it’s not about putting Black people and women into prominent positions; it’s about what those people think and say. For instance, Sage Steele is a Black woman. Yet, ESPN tries to de-platform her at every turn. She’s even been punished for things she has said outside of the ESPN airwaves.

Woke Ryan Clark even refused to work with Steele because of her opinions. Did ESPN tell Clark to kick rocks and go do his job? No, of course they obliged. Why? Because they agreed with Clark’s ideas more than Steele’s. Oh, those “conservative” executives at ESPN strike again.

ESPN’s Ryan Clark. (Getty Images)

OutKick’s own Bobby Burack did an excellent piece on what ESPN has allowed liberal pundits to espouse, while tamping down Steele. In his list, he mentions eight other ESPN talents: Howard Bryant, Jalen Rose, Jemele Hill, Dan LeBatard, JA Adande, Maria Taylor, Mark Jones, and Bomani Jones. He didn’t even have the time or space to talk about Elle Duncan and Malika Andrews.

All of those talents have a far-left agenda. Those constantly accusing others of racism fail to see the irony in telling a Black person to “keep quiet” when their opinions don’t follow the group-think.

They don’t allow them to “be themselves” as Jemele Hill thinks was the case with her. She doesn’t actually know what it’s like to be silenced, yet she complains about it anyway.

I was told many times that I was “difficult to work with” when I would provide opposing viewpoints. Liberal coworkers did not want to hear what I had to say, and management actively backed them up at every turn. There was that “conservative culture” again, allowing liberal employees to speak with impunity while I was told to keep quiet. Sounds really conservative, doesn’t it?

More “conservative” ESPN programming

“Next thing you know, they didn’t want Mike and I on camera as much. They just wanted a more traditional ‘SportsCenter.’ That’s not what we signed up for. We signed up to do something different. We wanted to bring the craziness of ‘His & Hers,’ our previous show, onto ‘SportsCenter’, and they didn’t want that.”

Yes, shame on ESPN for trying to steer Jemele Hill and Michael Smith into a show that the audience actually wanted. They should have allowed them to continue to do a show that was getting destroyed in the ratings and was losing advertisers left and right.

I had a meeting with another very high-profile ESPN executive when I worked there and the conversation turned to the Hill and Smith version of SportsCenter.

This executive told me that the advertising that the 6pm SportsCenter was bringing in prior to the Smith and Hill failed experiment was CUT IN HALF. He did not show me the actual numbers, but his tone and demeanor were clear: the show was hurting the company.

This exec even went so far as to insinuate that one of the main reasons for the mass ESPN layoffs in 2017 were a direct result of this lost revenue. Connecting the dots, one could draw the conclusion that over 100 ESPN employees possibly lost their jobs so that Hill and Smith could continue to push away the audience. Boy, she sure got a raw deal there, huh?

ESPN paid her around $10 million for the failed show. And, by the way, when Hill and Smith were booted off, SportsCenter ratings immediately improved.

Jemele Hill and Michael Smith smiling after taking tens of millions of dollars from ESPN with no return on investment for the company (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

“It was no fun for me and so that’s why I left. I didn’t get kicked off, I chose to leave because the experience wasn’t fun for me anymore.”

The cherry on top, playing the old “You can’t fire me, I quit!” But if Hill is to be believed here, then why is she upset? She was being paid millions of dollars per year, was hardly working after ESPN was forced to remove her failing show, and then she left on her own accord to go fail somewhere else. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Despite never proving they can drive ratings, people like Sarah Spain (who was one of the worst people I have ever worked with in my life, and easily the least talented), Bomani Jones, Elle Duncan, Jalen Rose and many others have raked in millions of dollars.

ESPN’s ratings continue to be in a massive decline, as we’ve noted here at OutKick over and over again. So, if liberal commentators are costing the company money, but continue to get preferential treatment and airtime, where are all these “conservative” executives?

They’ve even produced shows with the sole purpose of driving left-wing talking points, even though they knew they wouldn’t perform well.

Is her assertion that ESPN’s “conservative” execs promote liberal commentators and programming even though they cost money while disagreeing with everything they say?

That’s patently absurd. ESPN executives think about the world in the exact same way that Jemele does. That’s why they promote left-wing talking points even in the face of lost revenue. They believe they are being “righteous” and “virtuous.” We know how important they think it is to be “on the right side of history” which, ironically, is actually the “left side of history.”

I don’t know if Jemele Hill owns a mirror, but she should find one and take a good, long look into it. Hopefully, one day, she’ll see what we all see: a no-talent, race-baiting, left-wing hack who has made millions of dollars by calling everyone racist and making herself a perpetual victim.

There’s no question it’s been a lucrative path for her, but I wouldn’t trade anything for her money if it came with the misery of having to view the world the way that she and all the other “conservatives” at ESPN do.

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.


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  1. So much to unpack. Dan hit the nail on the head but a couple of bullet points to expand upon:
    -There is racism in America. But, calling everyone and everything racist has become the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf. It has lost most if not all of its meaning by using the term as frequently and recklessly as possible
    -African-American politicians in general do not represent their constituents in any meaningful way. Education (school choice), family planning (Planned Parenthood), law and order (Defund the Police), etc. Black on black crime is rampant but nobody seems to care. How in the world can you look at Chicago and not wonder what the hell is going on? Every damn weekend? Should we open Pandoras Box and see how African dictators treat their own people?
    -If I were to awake from a 25 year coma today and started watching TV I would assume 50% of the population is black and 30% are homosexuals. I don’t really care but in what reality do you think there is systemic racism or homophobia?
    I don’t have the statistics but I would guess 14% of the US are African-American and 3-4% are homosexual.
    -Who really wants to identify as a victim? What kind of life is that to be defined by anything than your achievements and your own sense of self worth.

  2. The thing is Jemele Hill is the most woke in the woke sports media. She is the AOC of sports media. To AOC anyone to the left of Bernie Sanders is conservative, which we know is not true. Jemele Hill was just too much for even a lefty like Jemele Hill.

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