Jemele Hill pens essay on 'doing the right thing' after tweets criticizing Trump

ESPN anchor Jemele Hill penned a powerful essay on 'doing the right thing' after her tweets criticizing President Trump became a story of national interest earlier this month. 

The SportsCenter co-host opened up on Wednesday about watching her employer "become a punching bag" because of her comments calling the president a white supremacist

"Twitter wasn’t the place to vent my frustrations," Hill admits, further stating that the social media platform isn't the best place for "nuanced, complicated discussions" about race and social issues. 

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Jemele Hill through her career
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Jemele Hill through her career
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Jemele Hill (L) and Michael Smith at the Celebrity Basketball Game, presented by Sprite and State Farm, during the 2017 BET Experience, at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 01: Jemele Hill and Michael Smith attends ESPN The Magazine's 'Next' Event at Tad Gormley Stadium on February 1, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Michael Chang/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: (L-R) Cari Champion, Laura Gentile, and Jemele Hill attend the 'Venus Vs.' and 'Coach' screenings at the Paley Center For Media on June 24, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Jamie Horowitz, Michael Smith, Cari Champion, Skip Bayless and Jemele Hill attend IAVA 7th Annual Heroes Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for IAVA)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: (L-R) Jemele Hill, Michael Smith and Cari Champion attend the 'When the Garden Was Eden' Premiere after party during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival at Hudson Terrace on April 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: ESPN columnist Jemele Hill and Michael Smith attend the The Paley Center for Media 2014 Spring Benefit Dinner at 583 Park Avenue on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Jemele Hill speaks onstage during the Genius Talks presented by RushCard at the 2014 BET Experience at L.A. LIVE on June 28, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/BET/Getty Images for BET)
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 8: Jemele Hill (R) asks a question to panelist U.S. Paralympian Amy Purdy (MR), WNBA player Elena Delle Donne (ML) and U.S. Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin (L) at the espnW: Women + Sports Summit on October 8, 2014 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14: Jemele Hill speaks onstage at 'Live Podcast: His and Hers' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Four Seasons Hotel on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Steve Rogers Photography/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14: Michael Smith (L) and Jemele Hill speak onstage at 'Live Podcast: His and Hers' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Four Seasons Hotel on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Steve Rogers Photography/Getty Images for SXSW)
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 15: ESPN Sportscaster Jemele Hill speaks to the audience during the espnW Summit 2015 at St. Regis Monarch Resort on October 15, 2015 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Jemele Hill (L) and Hennessy's West Coast Marketing Manager Thuy-Anh J. Nguyen attend the official BET Experience gifting suite sponsored by Hennessy at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Hennessy V.S)
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 14: ESPN Sportscaster Jemele Hill introduces Power Talk speakers during the espnW Summit 2015 at St. Regis Monarch Resort on October 14, 2015 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Jemele Hill, radio personality Charlamagne Tha God, and honoree Cari Champion attend the 2015 WEEN Awards at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on November 18, 2015, in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Journalist Jemele Hill provides commenary during the celebrity basketball game presented by Sprite during the 2016 BET Experience on June 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/BET/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: ESPN TV Hostess Cari Champion and Jemele Hill take in the New Liberity vs the Los Angeles Sparks during a WNBA basketball game at Staples Center on July 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Co-host ESPN2's His & Hers Jemele Hill speaks at the Why Are We Still Talking About This? Women & Sport in 2016 panel at Liberty Theater during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 18: Actor Michael Che and sports journalist Jemele Hill attend GQ Celebration of NBA All-Star Weekend 2017 at Ogden Museum Of Southern Art on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for GQ)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Michael Smith and Jemele Hill chats of the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17: Jemele Hill Coach of the East Team holds up the MVP award after the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game as a part of 2017 All-Star Weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01: ESPN's SC6, Michael Smith and Jemele Hill host a show before Game One of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on June 1, 2017 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11: SPN host Jemele Hill attends BODY At The ESPYS Pre-Party at Avalon Hollywood on July 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
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She connects the feeling she had of letting her employer and colleagues down to a story from her childhood, when she disappointed her grandmother by succumbing to peer pressure from friends and stealing beer from the fridge. 

"I was heartbroken because I felt like I had let my grandmother, who was one of my best friends, down," Hill wrote. "And there is no feeling worse than letting down the people who love and support you."

That feeling of disappointment again reared its head during Hill's meeting with ESPN president John Skipper, which the SportsCenter anchor cites as "the first time I had ever cried in a meeting."

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Social media reactions to ESPN-Jemele Hill controversy
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Social media reactions to ESPN-Jemele Hill controversy

On September 11, ESPN's Jemele Hill tweeted that President Trump was a "white supremacist," to which ESPN responded that Hill's remarks were "inappropriate."

Social media was quick to sound off on the controversy ...

We are with you @jemelehill ✊🏾
Poor @jemelehill ! If this twit ever opened a book she might learn that white supremacy is the legacy of the party… https://t.co/Kix3KzXRYv
@jemelehill @Millz2BeMade Fire this racist, no talent, non educated POS...shes a joke & works at ESPN for ONE reaso… https://t.co/R8MnM4mMaf
@jemelehill thank you for speaking the truth. Im sorry u are being silenced. But u are 100 percent right about trump
@vlov327 @Kaepernick7 @jemelehill Donald Trump is not, never was, never will be a White Supremacist. Saying that he… https://t.co/R1VrvDcR4L
I hope despite what her employer decided@jemelehill feels the overwhelming love and support for her & her stance was 100% correct.
All the white tears over Jemele Hill this morning 😂 #jemelehill
@jemelehill I dont understand how uneducated people continue to get jobs in the media. Sports or otherwise.
@jemelehill It's crystal clear that anyone who doesn't share your insular, bigoted, racist views, u label them as r… https://t.co/EqvPtjx1j8
@jemelehill Everything you said was the truth 💯it amazes me the studity in ppl. Damn shame
@jemelehill You should be fired. Goes to show bigots come in all shapes and sizes. #BoycottESPN
I like @jemelehill but when will celebrities realize I care about your opinion on sports and nothing else. #StayInYourLane
We are with you @jemelehill #StayWoke✊🏾
So because @realDonaldTrump is "president" he's above criticism? @jemelehill keep talking that that talk. They don't wanna hear the truth
And yet somehow Jemele Hill was being inappropriate? Nah. https://t.co/AGMSZnDr0u https://t.co/2JahScBHwW
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While Hill acknowledged that Twitter was not the best place for her comments to be made, she did not back down from her opinions. Hill reemphasized that she feels this is a challenging time for the United States, especially for marginalized citizens suffering from the effects racism and white supremacy. 

"As a career journalist, I can’t pretend that I don’t see what’s happening in our world," Hill stated. She referenced the president's recent attacks on NFL players protesting during the national anthem as well as his choice to disinvite Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors from the White House as reasons why staying silent is no longer an option for her, despite politics not being her job. 

"Yes, my job is to deliver sports commentary and news," Hill wrote. "But when do my duties to the job end and my rights as a person begin?"

You can read Hill's entire personal essay on The Undefeated

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