On Wednesday, shortly after the White House called for ESPN host Jemele Hill to be fired, the network tried to keep Hill off the air.
According to Think Progress, sources revealed that various hosts refused to go on air in support of Hill. Michael Smith, Hill’s SportsCenter co-host, refused to go on without her and “producers reached out to two other Black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them serve as fill-ins for the show — but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith, either,” the site writes.
All of this comes after Hill took to Twitter to call out Donald Trump for refusing to denounce white supremacy, referring to him as a “white supremacist.”
ESPN later issued a statement apologizing for Hill’s comments, but it seems that wasn’t enough.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “That’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”
Rob King, the senior vice president for news and information at SportsCenter, told ThinkProgress, “Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened. In the end, ultimately, Michael and Jemele appearing on the show last night and doing the show the way they did is the outcome we always desired.”
Hill has not issued an apology, but did respond to the drama on Twitter, stating she regrets that her comments “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”
In the wake of the drama, many influencers and fans have vowed to boycott ESPN if Hill is fired.