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Jemele Hill

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Occupation  sports journalist
Name  Jemele Hill

Role  Columnist
Jemele Hill espnmediazonecomusfiles200910HillJemelecro

Born  December 21, 1975 (age 40) (1975-12-21) Detroit, Michigan
Similar People  Michael Smith, Cari Champion, Stephen A Smith, Skip Bayless, Sage Steele
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Education  Michigan State University

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Jemele Juanita Hill (born 1975) is an American sports journalist who is a co-host of ESPN's flagship SportsCenter. She previously wrote a column for ESPN.com's Page 2 and formerly hosted ESPN's His and Hers. In June 2013, she succeeded Jalen Rose on ESPN2's Numbers Never Lie. In February 2017, Hill and Michael Smith became co-hosts of SC6, the 6 P.M. (ET) edition of SportsCenter.

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Early life

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Hill was born in Detroit in 1975. She and her mother moved to Houston in 1980, then later back to Detroit. Hill graduated from Mumford High School in 1993, then attended Michigan State University.

Career

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Hill began her career as general assignment sports writer for the Raleigh News & Observer. From 1999 to 2005, she served as a sports writer with the Detroit Free Press, mainly covering Michigan State football and basketball. While at the Free Press, she also covered the 2004 Summer Olympics and the NBA Playoffs. Hill worked as a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 2005 to 2006.

ESPN

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Hill joined ESPN in November 2006 as a national columnist on ESPN.com. Hill made regular appearances on television, including SportsCenter and several ESPN programs, including ESPN First Take, Outside the Lines and The Sports Reporters. During the 2012 college football season, she worked on Friday nights as a sideline reporter with Carter Blackburn and Rod Gilmore.

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During the 2008 NBA Playoffs, Hill was suspended from her post after referencing Adolf Hitler in an article about the then-NBA champion Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons. In an editorial describing why she could not support 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. Deserving or not, I still hate the Celtics." The comments generated a negative response and that portion of the editorial was taken out shortly after the column was published. Hill was subsequently suspended for one week and she issued an apology through ESPN. The network drew criticism for its treatment of Hill, as another employee, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, also made a Hitler reference in 2008 and was not suspended.

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In 2011, Hill and Michael Smith began the podcast His & Hers. Its popularity led to ESPN adding Hill to Smith's ESPN2 show Numbers Never Lie in 2013, which was renamed His & Hers a year later. In addition to sports, the show covered social and relationship issues and pop culture, including favorite television shows, music and several movie spoofs. Writing at the Los Angeles Times, Stephen Battaglio contrasted Hill and Smith's style with the "vein-bulging, finger-pointing debates...filling hours of sports talk programming." Instead, he said, "Hill and Smith often agree and never take an opposing view just for the sake of creating provocative television...They are powered by wound-up energy." His & Hers ran through January 2017.

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On February 6, 2017, Hill and Smith became evening anchors of ESPN's flagship show, SportsCenter. Airing at 6 P.M., their installment of SportsCenter is called SC6 with Michael and Jemele. Writing at Vibe, Michael Saponara said the new show was expected to focus on "the duo’s developed chemistry, and bold personalities instead of the traditional Sportscenter which mostly stuck to highlights of the day’s events.". ESPN's ratings for the 6 o'clock hour have declined significantly since Hill and Smith took over the re branded SC6. As of March of 2017, ESPN's 6 o'clock ratings were down by 4% from March of 2016. Throughout the summer of 2017, this decline had accelerated to almost 20% from the same dates in 2016. Some have argued that the declining ratings are a result of negative reaction to SC6's revamped content, while others (including ESPN) have argued ratings drop has more to do with consumer trends such as cord cutting.

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On September 11, 2017 Hill drew attention for a series of tweets critical of President Donald Trump, including describing him as a "white supremacist." ESPN issued a statement saying Hill's comments "do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate." Hill later clarified that she stood by her comments as representative of her personal beliefs; "My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light." Some criticized Hill's comments, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called them "a fireable offense by ESPN"; Trump criticized the network and demanding an apology. Others voiced support for Hill and criticized ESPN and the White House's responses, arguing that Hill's comments were accurate and that a White House official suggesting Hill be fired infringed on the First Amendment.

Honors

In 2007, Hill won the inaugural McKenzie Cup, which is given in tribute to sports editor Van McKenzie, at the annual Poynter Media Summit.

References

Jemele Hill Wikipedia


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