Jemele Hill confirms ESPN exit

Sports journalist and commenter Jemele Hill announced Friday that she would be leaving ESPN at the end of the day after 12 years at the network. 

“Over the last several weeks, there have been a lot of rumors about my job status,” she said in a Twitter post confirming her decision.

Calling her time working at ESPN a “wonderful journey” during which she “became the best version” of herself, Hill wrote that “the time has come for me to begin a new chapter in my life.”

Her announcement comes nearly one year after her controversial two-week suspension from the network where she was, at the time, co-hosting “SportsCenter” at 6 p.m. ― briefly rebranded as “SC6.” 

In September 2017, responding to a news report on social media that touched on the Confederate battle flag as a hate symbol, the sportscaster called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists” and said he is “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.” Weeks later, she criticized Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over Twitter after he threatened to bench players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social inequality.

While the first set of tweets caused a stir with some ESPN viewers, the second set prompted the Disney-owned network to issue a suspension. Hill said that she deserved the suspension for violating company policy but that she did not regret her words. 

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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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By early 2018, she had left “SC6” for “The Undefeated,” ostensibly to focus on reporting. Several weeks later, her former co-host, Michael Smith, had also left the show, which is now back to being called “SportsCenter.”

In late August, The New York Post reported that Hill’s departure was imminent and largely had to do with her politics. She had “barely worked” since leaving “SC6,” the paper stated, adding that she would receive a buyout. 

She thanked a handful of ESPN executives in her goodbye note, leaving a special message for Smith. “I love you and you made me better in every possible way,” she wrote. 

ESPN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement to Variety, ESPN executive Connor Schell said Hill was “an exceptionally talented writer, storyteller host and commentator.”

“As she moves forward into the next phase of her career, with the desire to produce content outside of sports, we wish her the best and thank her for her work,” he said.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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