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Jemele Hill Explains Why She Left Sportscenter

Jemele Hill SC6 ESPN

Jemele Hill left her position as co-anchor of ESPN's 6 p.m. hour of Sportscenter, SC6, and it didn't take long for rumors to swirl regarding why the sports journalist was off the program. Hill set the record straight for all those speculating; she stated that her role on the show wasn't what she wanted in her career and that she's transitioning to other roles within the network. It opens with the following:

Life comes at you fast, doesn't it? And while I am amused by the rumors that I was demoted, kicked off the 6pm SporsCenter or whatever else can be conjured, the truth is pretty simple and not nearly as dramatic.I asked to leave the show- some of y'all probably need to read that sentence again- because of a strong desire to return to reporting, writing, and commentary. Not many people get to say they were a SporsCenter anchor (although I wonder if I have the record for shortest stint.... ESPN Stats & Info, get on that!). So I consider myself lucky to have worn that title, and sat in the same chair as many of the icons in our business.

Jemele Hill informed any sports fans who thought she may have been demoted or fired that it was her decision to leave Sportscenter, and that she was moving within the company to work on the website The Undefeated. As mentioned later in her tweet, Hill will still be a part of other ESPN programming, including a project she can't speak about at the moment. These moves will allow Hill to get back to some of the things she wasn't able to do on Sportscenter, such as reporting and writing.

Jemele Hill is certainly one for commentary, and her departure from Sportscenter caused many to wonder if the decision was tied to some remarks Hill made in the past year. ESPN audiences may remember Hill gained the ire of the White House back in October, after her tweet calling President Donald Trump as a "white supremacist," caught the eye of the administration. The White House called for Hill's firing, and while ESPN didn't oblige, the network did suspend Hill for an incident not long after, in which she called for a boycott of sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys on Twitter following remarks from the owner of the team.

Jemele Hill's transition to The Undefeated, a website that is devoted to sports, culture, and race, sounds like a good fit for both her and ESPN. Hill will be able to get back to interviewing coaches and athletes, and report on issues that she's passionate about. Whether or not she'll ever successfully convince her critics (many of whom are featured in the top replies to her tweet) that her move was not a demotion remains to be seen. That likely won't matter to Hill, as she's back to doing what she wants, and is still working for a company that wants to utilize her talents.

Jemele Hill's Sportscenter time slot will continue to run on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET and her co-host Michael Smith is still attached to the news program. For dates and other information about upcoming shows in 2018, be sure to head over to our midseason premiere guide. Those interested in reading more on sports might want to check out the announcement regarding the return of the XFL, which WWE's Vince McMahon swears will be better this time around.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.