Donald Trump calls out Jemele Hill by name, blames her for bad ratings
Donald Trump, again, attacked Jemele Hill, the ESPN sportscaster who was suspended for calling the president a white supremacist on social media and for her response to the Dallas Cowboys. This time, among a series of tweets posted on Tuesday morning, Trump claimed her presence at the network has “tanked” the ratings.
“With Jemele Hill at the mike [sic], it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry,” Trump wrote in the tweet, his latest in a series addressing TV ratings (recently, he said he was “saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys”).
Although ESPN’s subscriber base is declining, “tanked” isn’t exactly an accurate assessment — the decline began six years ago after the network hit a high with 100 million subscribers in 2011. These numbers have slowly fallen since then largely as a result of hiking cable bundles and more streaming options; according to Variety, ratings have dropped 19.6 percent from 2014 to 2016.
Hill’s suspension came after ESPN deemed her tweets about Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, to be a second violation of its social media policy.
Jones had said “we will not play” if “there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag,” in reference to athletes kneeling in protest during the National Anthem. Hill tweeted that this threat “created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones.” She wrote, “If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts. If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.”
Earlier Tuesday morning, after blaming Democrats for immigration troubles and teasing an executive order on health care coming soon, Trump declared “change tax law” when it comes to the NFL. “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” he tweeted.
POTUS lashed out at the NFL after players were seen kneeling and linking arms in protest. Trump claimed the athletes were disrespecting the country. The act came directly after Trump referred to ex 49ers player Colin Kaepernick as a “son of a b—ch” for his protest of police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S.