ESPN President John Skipper sent out a memo to staffers today after days of backlash over Jemele Hill‘s tweets calling President Trump a white supremacist.
ESPN’s initial statement said her comments don’t represent the network’s position and that she “recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Hill stood by her comments Wednesday night, but she said she regrets how her remarks painted her employer “in an unfair light.”
And amid all this, the White House has called her comments a “fireable offense.”
The memo from Skipper, obtained by CNN, says rather bluntly:
We have programs on which we discuss and even debate sports, as well as the issues that intersect with sports. Fans themselves love to debate and discuss sports.
ESPN is not a political organization. Where sports and politics intersect, no one is told what view they must express.
Skipper brings up social media standards for employees and, without mentioning Hill by name, says, “We had a violation of those standards in recent days and our handling of this is a private matter. As always, in each circumstance we look to do what is best for our business.”
He does say that ESPN isn’t just about “sticking to sports,” but writes, “we need to remind ourselves that we are a journalistic organization and that we should not do anything that undermines that position.”
You can read the full memo here.
[image via ESPN]