EXCLUSIVE: Jemele Hill Talks Racism In Sports, Death Threats After Calling Out Trump & Disagreeing With Jay-Z’s NFL Partnership

Jemele Hill

EXCLUSIVE: Jemele Hill Talks Racism In Sports, Death Threats After Calling Out Trump & Disagreeing With Jay-Z’s NFL Partnership

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with theJasmineBRAND, sports analyst/journalist Jemele Hill talks how the handling of today’s sports industry are a sign of the times. Jemele Hill – formerly of ESPN – talked racism, Colin Kaepernick, her predictions on who will take home this year’s NBA honors, Jay-Z’s NFL partnership and how she’s handled death threats over her criticism of Donald Trump.

Jemele Hill recalls her first encounter with racism, in which a teacher attempted to force her to repeat a grade:

“I was always used to being a high achiever, being well-liked- I was always a nerd. So I loved to read…and this lady tried to play me like I was stupid. She was saying she didn’t think my reading comprehension was up to standard, and started nit-picking at a bunch of other things- and just, basically, saying I was dumb and inferior. Moms and my stepfather were not having it, ’cause she tried to make me repeat another grade!…I think it was the first time I heard my mother say, ‘racism…’ And I think she even went as far as to accuse the lady of being a racist…and I just had this uncomfortable sensation around this woman all the time. And, of course, being that young I couldn’t articulate what that was. But I very much had the vibe that she thought I was inferior.”

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Donald Trump

On how her work environment changed and receiving death threats after her viral Donald Trump tweets about white supremacy:

“I got a lot of death threats. I had to have security at various points of when I went to do things. I just couldn’t move the way I had always been moving…it was just, kind of, a little anxiety on my part. And then, just professionally, it really changed the dynamic of what I was experiencing at ESPN. I think I started to be looked at as a little bit toxic, and they kind of didn’t know what to do.”

Known for being vocal on social media, she says she’ll continue to draw attention to the NFL’s “hypocrisy:”

“At every opportunity, I’m going to remind the NFL of their extraordinary hypocrisy. And for that matter – I think it bears serious examination to what the players go through in that league, and what the systems are in that league that allow these things. And I can only, really, continue to be informed by watching what’s going on…I’m looking at systems more than anything.”

Jemele Hill says it’s too late for the NFL to change their stance on protests from the players:

“The cost when you have a convenient stance is people will find you disingenuous. There are times in history where you’re only gonna get one opportunity to decide what side of history you wanna be one. In 2016 and 2017, the NFL had the opportunity to stand with Colin Kaepernick, to stand with their players who were protesting- who were kneeling during the national anthem for racial injustice and police brutality. They decided, instead, that they were gonna stand with Donald Trump…no amount of apologizing can undo that…so saying, ‘We should’ve listened to the players,’ isn’t enough. It’s too late.”

Colin Kaepernick

On whether or not she believes Colin Kaepernick will be allowed to play again:

“This was somebody who took the [San Francisco] 49ers to a Super Bowl who spent a significant amount of time as being one of the ten best quarterbacks in the NFL…he belongs in the National Football League. I just don’t think he’ll ever be in the National Football League again. It pains me to say that…I think they [the teams’ owners] have said, by words and actions, that’s not happening…a huge percentage of them support Donald Trump…they’re going to take the coward’s way out.”


Jemele Hill shares her thoughts on Jay-Z‘s partnership with the NFL:

“I still don’t like it. And this is no disrespect towards Hov…both he and Beyonce have been putting both their voice and their money behind important issues in our community…I’ve never come for his Blackness, ever. What I will say is this was a gross miscalculation. The NFL is not interested in the kinds of things that Jay-Z is trying to so apart from them. He didn’t need the NFL for a stamp of approval for what he’s doing in the social justice space. They needed him.”

Lastly, Jemele Hill shares her predictions for this year’s NBA season in the bubble:

“It feels like the last NBA game I saw was, like, three years ago! Lebron [James] was playing really great, so my inclination was leaning towards him. To me, it was coming down to him or Giannis. [Antetokounmpo]”

Watch our exclusive interview with Jemele Hill below.

Authored by: Miata Shanay