Jemele Hill returns to ESPN for Monday’s edition of SportsCenter following a two-week suspension that stemmed from violating the network’s social media guidelines. The host also made her return to Twitter after a short hiatus.
“::taps mic:: Is this thing on?” Hill tweeted Monday. It was her first tweet since October 10, the day after her suspension started.
Hill thanked those who stood by her and said she will be back on SportsCenter’s 6PM show, SC6.
“Back tonight at 6 (we’re on ESPN2 tonight). Sitting on a few hot takes, to say the least,” she tweeted. “Thank you all for standing with me and by me. Trust me, you did not do so in vain. My heart is full. See you tonight.”
Hill, who was suspended due to a second violation of the company’s social media guidelines, told TMZ Sports that her suspension was “deserved” and that she’s looking forward to being in a “good healthy place” with the network.
She also weighed in about the network’s decision to suspend her.
“Here’s the reality, ESPN acted what they felt was right, and I don’t have any argument or quibble with that,” Hill told a TMZ Sports in a video that was published on Saturday. “I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy. I deserved that suspension.”
An ESPN spokesman confirmed to CNN that Hill will return on Monday.
Hill also expressed regrets over putting her colleagues and ESPN in “bad spot,” but she remains defiant about her tweets.
“I will never take back what I said,” she told TMZ Sports.
ESPN levied a two week suspension after Hill tweeted a response to comments made by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said earlier this month that he would bench any player who “disrespects the flag.” Jones was reacting to NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence.
“If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers,” Hill tweeted on October 8. “Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.”
Hill later backtracked, saying in another tweet that she was “not advocating a NFL boycott” but that “an unfair burden has been put on players” with anthem directives.
But by then, it was too late. ESPN suspended Hill on October 9 for violating the network’s social media guidelines.
“She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet,” the network wrote in a statement. “In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”
This was Hill’s second Twitter controversy in as many months. In September, Hill found herself in the middle of an online firestorm after she called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shot back during a White House daily press briefing, saying that what Hill tweeted was “a fireable offense by ESPN.”
— Brian Stelter contributed to this report