Outspoken and much-awarded sports journalist Jemele Hill tweeted on Friday that it was her last day at ESPN, the network that helped vault her to stardom but also suspended her when she spoke out against President Trump.
Hill noted that over the last several weeks, “there have been a lot of rumors about my job status.” She called her time at ESPN “ … one of the most special chapters of my life.”
The journalist wrote that when she started at ESPN 12 years ago, she had “no idea that such a wonderful journey would take place.”
“This was the place where I became the best version of myself, both personally and professionally,” she wrote. “However, the time has come for me to begin a new chapter in my life.”
She especially singled out former “SportsCenter” cohost Michael Smith, who she called “friend” and “brother.”
“I love you and you made me better in every possible way,” Hill wrote. “I’m proud of everything we did, because nobody sold tapes out the trunk quite like us.”
Hill also had kind words for the rest of her coworkers.
“I am humbled and forever grateful to have worked with you,” she wrote. “I am in awe of your talents. I’ll always be rooting for you.”
Hill had long been a respected sports journalist, especially as a person of color and a woman in a field of mostly men. But on Sept. 11, 2017, she drew national attention – good and bad – for calling President Trump a “white supremacist” who is “unqualified and unfit” to be president.
She also defended the right of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes’ right to take a knee in protest of police misconduct and people of color.
Her remarks and her stance prompted the White House to call for her firing and motivated ESPN to suspend her for two weeks.
In the spring, the National Association of Black Journalists named Hill its 2018 NABJ Journalist of the Year, commending her for “using her platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports.”
Over the last several weeks, there have been a lot of rumors about my job status. Today is my last day at ESPN.
More from me on closing one of the most special chapters in my life: pic.twitter.com/jReaH5sWhW
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 14, 2018