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Jemele Hill blasts Stephen A. Smith, ESPN over Dana White


Former ESPN personality Jemele Hill criticized ex-colleague Stephen A. Smith and her old bosses on the Disney-owned sports network for “going easy” on UFC head honcho Dana White after he was recently filmed slapping his wife during a nightclub argument on Latest 12 months’s Eve in Mexico.

Hill, a staff author for The Atlantic who departed ESPN in 2018, wrote that ESPN’s financial ties to UFC have deterred the network from covering the White incident as aggressively as other recent scandals.

White, who shares three kids together with his wife Anne, has come under fire after video footage first obtained by TMZ showed the 2 in a verbal and physical altercation at El Squid Roe in Cabo San Lucas.

“Coverage of the incident [which] has overall been pretty soft,” Hill wrote, noting that ESPN and UFC signed a $1.5 billion television contract to air its fights.

In 2019, the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” and UFC signed one other deal to make the network its exclusive pay-per-view provider.

During last Wednesday’s broadcast of the show “First Take,” Smith said he was a friend of White.WireImage

“Having worked at ESPN for 12 years, I do know intimately the difference between cursory coverage and a nonstop national conversation fueled by the large sports-media machine,” in accordance with Hill.

She cited the controversy ignited recently by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who was suspended for several games by his team after posting a link to a movie that promoted anti-Semitic tropes.

Hill also mentioned a tweet by ESPN author and editor Jeff Wagenheim, who “essentially confirmed my statement that the network is intentionally going easy on White.”

Jemele Hill hit out at ESPN for Jemele Hill blasted ESPN for “going easy” on UFC President Dana White.Zuffa LLC

On Thursday, Wagenheim took to Twitter and wrote: “We’ve been told to not write anything incendiary on social media concerning the Dana White situation, and I understand why and have abided by that.”

“I just ask y’all to grasp that a few of us at ESPN shouldn’t have as soft a take as this on domestic violence,” Wagenheim tweeted.

Wagenheim clarified by saying, “There was no edict from ESPN bosses regarding the White situation, but normally we’re strongly discouraged from incendiary posts on social media, and with a business partner things are sensitive.”

He added: “My bad on the wording. (The thought that follows still stands.)”

White was recently filmed slapping his wife during a New Year's Eve argument at a nightclub in Mexico.White was recently filmed slapping his wife during a Latest 12 months’s Eve argument at a nightclub in Mexico.TMZSports.com

Hill also called out her old colleagues Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim, who co-anchor the favored debate show “First Take.”

She wrote that in their Wednesday broadcast, Smith and Qerim “were especially gracious to White, whom they each admitted they’re friendly with.”

Hill cited a recent tweet by an ESPN writer who seemed to suggest that the network was not going to aggressively cover White.Hill cited a recent tweet by an ESPN author and editor who appeared to suggest that the network was not going to aggressively cover White.Twitter/Jeff Wagenheim

Jeff Wagenheim denied there was an Jeff Wagenheim denied there was an “edict” from ESPN bosses.Twitter/Jeff Wagenheim

“I just wish the very best for him and his family,” Smith was quoted as saying by Hill.

“He knows how unsuitable he was to do that. He knows that we’re on this. He knew ahead of time, because I reached out to him to let him know I can be talking about this this morning.”

Smith added: “He knows that he crossed a line that he has never crossed before and that he swears he won’t ever cross again. And he’s incredibly ashamed of himself. That’s just where we’re without delay.”

Hill wrote that Smith and Qerim would almost certainly have struck a less conciliatory tone and wouldn’t have been as “nuanced and delicate if it had been about someone they didn’t know.”

The Post has sought comment from ESPN.

Hill, who co-hosted a rebranded version of SportsCenter called Hill, who co-hosted a rebranded version of SportsCenter called “SC6” alongside Michael Smith, left ESPN in 2018.NBAE via Getty Images

Hill, who together with Michael Smith co-hosted the now-defunct, rebranded version of SportsCenter called “SC6,” or “The Six,” left ESPN under a cloud of controversy.

The previous Detroit Free Press sportswriter drew the ire of then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

In 2017, Sanders demanded Hill’s ouster for tweeting that former President Donald Trump was a “white supremacist” who “largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists.”

Hill was reprimanded by her bosses on the time. She was later suspended by the network after appearing to advocate for a boycott of the NFL, one other certainly one of ESPN’s most valued television partners.

Hill was angered by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s threat to suspend any players who protested the national anthem as a part of a campaign to call attention to police brutality.

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