ESPN.com columnist Jemele Hill was suspended yesterday after sparking outrage by comparing rooting for the Boston Celtics to Adolf Hitler and nuclear war.
“Jemele has been relieved of her writing and on-air responsibilities for a period of time to reflect on the impact of her words,” ESPN spokesman Paul Melvin said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Yesterday, Hill amplified on her earlier apology for writing, “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.”
“In expressing my passion for the NBA and my hometown of Detroit I showed very poor judgment in the words I used,”
Hill’s suspension came as WBCN [website] radio hosts Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb branded her a hypocrite and demanded she be fired.
In an April 2007 piece, Hill called for radio host Don Imus to get cashiered after his controversial 2007 “nappy-headed hos” slur.
“He is routinely offensive to people of color and women,” Hill wrote, “and if he needs to lose his job to understand that there is no place for that, so be it.”
Yesterday, the hosts of “Toucher & Rich” on WBCN-FM (104.1) said Hill should get the same treatment she had wanted for Imus.
“It has nothing to do with what she said. It has nothing to do with what Imus said. She wanted CBS to take action against Imus for what he said. That’s the bottom line,” Toucher said.