Trailblazers: Jemele Hill

– Justice Bolden

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 — Bristol, CT — ESPN 1st and 10 — Jemele Hill

Jemele Juanita Hill (born December 21, 1975) is an American sports journalist.

 

Jemele Hill was born in Detroit, before moving to Houston with her single mom. They later moved back to their hometown.

 

Hill is a veteran writer, interviewer, commentator and analyst. She began her journalistic career at her local newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, at only 15 years of age, through an internship. She graduated Mumford High School and went to college at Michigan State. Following her education experiences, she accepted a job at The News & Observer in Raleigh as a general assignment sports writer for just about a year, before transferring to her hometown newspaper, the Detroit Free Press. She worked there for 6 years, until 2005, when she transferred once again to the Orlando Sentinel. She only worked there for one year before attracting the attention of ESPN, landing a job as a national writer on their website as well as an occasional commentator and analyst on several flagship ESPN shows like First Take.

 

Hill is also known for various controversial statements that she made, mainly as political statements. This dates all the way back to 2007, where she referenced herself using “the race card” in an article about another controversial figure in sports, Barry Bonds. Shortly thereafter, during the 2008 NBA Playoffs, she mentioned Hitler when describing if she could ever root for the Boston Celtics vs her hometown Detroit Pistons. She wrote: “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. Deserving or not, I still hate the Celtics.” However, this wasn’t the least of her “antics”.

 

During the fall of 2017, Hill said she supported the notion that Donald Trump was “a white supremacist”, which earned her a two week suspension on the popular TV network. Later related comments like her criticism of Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, referencing kneeling during the anthem got her moved from her evening segment of SportsCenter, with Michael Smith, to lesser shows on ESPN and as a featured writer on the website, The Undefeated. Hill said she stands by what she said, but regrets the forum, Twitter, that she used to make those statements. However, she is still a critically acclaimed journalist, who recently won the NABJ Journalist Of The Year. She also won the 2007 McKenzie Cup, which recognizes the best sports journalist. Hill is one of the most popular journalists, sports and otherwise, in America. She is a featured writer and analyst, with several papers and publications.