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ESPN suspends host Jemele Hill for tweets calling for Cowboys boycott

A US cable sports anchor who was reprimanded for calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist has been suspended after her latest tweets.

Jemele Hill (Getty Images for BET)
Jemele Hill (Getty Images for BET)

ESPN said presenter Jemele Hill would be off air for two weeks because of a “second violation of our social media guidelines”.

The network did not specify how she fell foul of its policies this time.

But on Sunday she appeared to urge a boycott of an NFL owner who vowed to punish players in on-field protests.

Some NFL stars have been kneeling or sitting during the US national anthem in recent weeks to highlight perceived police brutality and racial injustice.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Sunday warned players they would be benched if they did not stand during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Ms Hill, an African-American co-host of the SportsCenter programme, tweeted: “Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts.”

She added: “If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”

Ms Hill later posted: “Just so we’re clear: I’m not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.”

ESPN partially explained its decision to suspend Ms Hill on Monday.

“She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet,” the network said in a statement.

“In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”

Last month Ms Hill was disciplined after calling President Trump “a white supremacist”, a “bigot” and the “most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime”.

In a statement, the network said her “inappropriate” remarks did not represent the company and that it had addressed the issue with her.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called those tweets “outrageous”. BBC News