Jemele Hill said it before and she's saying it again: President Donald Trump is still a "white supremacist." Hill got into hot water when, as an employee of ESPN in the fall of 2017, she tweeted that insult. On Thursday's Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she told the host she's standing by the accusation.
Colbert, who introduced Hill as an "outspoken journalist" who now writes for The Atlantic, began the conversation by stating, "You famously tweeted about Donald Trump." He showed a placard of the tweet and read it, to applause. "Show me the lie," she responded.
After that incendiary social media blast by Hill, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “I think that is one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make. It is certainly something that I think would be a fireable offense by ESPN.”
Colbert said Hill's tweet "has held up like a fine wine," drawing a chuckle from Hill. Imitating Trump's speaking style, Colbert recited the president's tweet from last year when he tweeted "ESPN ratings have tanked" because of Hill. Colbert asked Hill for her reaction to that.
"Well, number one, I was super impressed he spelled my name right," and she mentioned that the single "L" trips up some people. "But as a journalist, you sort of live for that moment. Because most of us, we live for the day when city hall comes after us. I was amused and took it as a really good compliment, and you know what they say: 'hit dogs holler.'"
Hill said there's a "huge bastion of people" who believe sports and politics shouldn't mix, but sports, politics, race and gender have "always touched together." She said she gave Tim Tebow a lot of credit for doing a pro-life Super Bowl commercial because abortion is a divisive issue. Amazingly, Hill said she did not hear a lot of backlash toward Tebow. Obviously she is tone deaf because the abortion crowd was very vocal in its criticism. Bleacher Report's Mickey McGuire typified the anger of the Left by calling it a "travesty."
Detroit Free Press writer Julie Hinds wrote that Hill appeared on The Late Show to promote the LeBron James-produced program, "Shut Up and Dribble." Hill is the narrator for the three-part Showtime documentary series which concludes Saturday night.
Hill said the name for the program was inspired by "some woman on Fox News. I think it was Laura Ingraham. She said that about LeBron James because he was being critical of the president. ... I should really be thanking her because without her saying that I don't know if I'd be narrating this documentary. So, way to give me another check!"
Showtime promotes Shut Up and Dribble as a "powerful inside look at the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment through the lens of the NBA. ... By taking control of their own destinies, basketball players have helped to bring about social change and make their own statements in the current political climate."
Colbert wanted to know more about Trump and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
The Atlantic writer said it's funny that Trump fashions himself as self-made, "but LeBron's the self-made millionaire when you look at everything that he's done and accomplished."
How will Kaepernick be remembered? "I think he'll be remembered as a hero," Hill answered. But he'll never play in the NFL again because "they are pretty well dug in on that." Twenty years from now the NFL will have to answer for blackballing him because "he stood for equality. If Colin Kaepernick had hit a woman, he'd be back in the NFL already. [What? Did she forget Ray Rice?] But he's not back playing because of his stand on social justice, and it makes a lot of the ownership in the NFL uncomfortable and the fan base that watches 'em."
A former student of Kaepernick's alma mater, the University of Nevada, does not agree he'll be remembered fondly. She claims Kaepernick did not always treat women with respect. She sent this information to Medium blogger Kitanya Harrison, a supporter of Kaepernick's who was then moved to question the character of the former quarterback.
Kaepernick's controversy is not political, Hill told Colbert. "Some of this is just simply right and wrong. ... It's just that people have become so polarized about issues that, frankly, we should all be on board and all be in agreement with."