Report: Michael Smith sits out SportsCenter in Jemele Hill's absence
Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN on Monday for a second violation of the company’s social media policy.
Hill posted on Twitter Sunday advocating for a boycott on the NFL’s advertisers, specifically Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ advertisers. ESPN maintains a close relationship with many of those same advertisers.
The proposed boycott stemmed from Jones saying that any Cowboys player who did not stand for the national anthem would not be allowed to play. Hill thought that was an unfair burden on players.
On Monday, Hill tweeted that she was not “advocating a NFL boycott.” But it may have been too late.
Now, the plot is thickening.
Hill’s co-anchor, Michael Smith, did not appear on Monday night’s 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter broadcast.
Judd Legum, editor and founder of ThinkProgress, confirmed the news with an ESPN spokesperson earlier in the day that Smith would not appear:
UPDATE: Jemele Hill’s co-host, Michael Smith, will not appear on SportsCenter tonight, according to reports https://t.co/6R0gV4VzNU
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 9, 2017
Smith will return to the air on Tuesday, a report from ThinkProgress stated.
ThinkProgress said it reported exclusively in September that ESPN attempted to remove Hill from the air after a tweet about Donald Trump but was thwarted after Smith and others refused to go on the air without her.