[COLUMN] For ESPN and Jemele Hill, mixing politics and sports is bad business

The subject of New England quarterback Tom Brady’s palship with Donald Trump came up during Super Bowl week 2017./ Photo: Donna Connor, Getty Images

By Christian Schneider | USA TODAY

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

Many of the charges Hill made against Trump are unfortunately true. That doesn’t change the fact the sports network needs Trump-loving fans.

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch, in the history of America,” John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3. Just the day before, the resolution for American independence had passed a committee on which Adams served; he believed the committee vote should “be commemorated, as the day of deliverance” in which future Americans took part in “shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward evermore.”

It was thus that “games” and “sports” were forever intertwined with the very idea of America itself. And as much as fans of differing political ideologies try to keep sports and politics separate, they keep crashing into one another even 241 years after Adams’ declaration.

On Tuesday, host of ESPN’s “Sportscenter” Jemele Hill went on an extended Twitter tirade, accusing President Donald Trump of being a “white supremacist,” arguing Trump’s rise was the “direct result of white supremacy.” In responding to a commenter, Hill wrote that “Donald Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn’t, because I cared about more than just myself.”


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September 2017