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Jemele Hill 'I Deserved That Suspension' ... Not Mad at ESPN

10/21/2017 8:16 AM PDT

Jemele Hill is breaking her silence -- telling TMZ Sports she doesn't blame ESPN for hitting her with a 2-week suspension over anti-Jerry Jones tweets saying ... "I put ESPN in a bad spot."

Hill was put in the penalty box for encouraging people upset with Jerry Jones' national anthem policy to boycott his sponsors. ESPN claimed her comment was a violation of the network's social media policy. Several of Hill's coworkers, celebrities, athletes and activists spoke out against ESPN ... and Hill says she appreciates all the support, but believes she was treated fairly by the network.

"I deserved a suspension," Hill told us at LAX ... "I violated the policy. Going forward we'll be in a good, healthy place." 

As for her public statements against Donald Trump ... Hill says she won't take back what she said -- but she regrets putting her show in a bad position. She's moving forward with ESPN, saying ... "I don't feel suppressed. I love ESPN as much as ever. I am okay. I feel good." 

We spoke with Hill about a ton of stuff -- which you can see in the raw video below. 

Jemele says she will return to work on Monday.

Jalen Rose to Trump: Stop Attacking Jemele Hill ... 'She's Family'

10/10/2017 12:04 PM PDT

ESPN host Jalen Rose tells TMZ Sports he wishes Donald Trump would stop going after his colleague Jemele Hill ... and focus on the "bigger issues" in our country. 

The former NBA star is one of the more prominent figures on the network -- so with Trump tweeting about his co-worker, we asked for his thoughts. 

"I just wish the President would focus on the larger issues we have to deal with in our country ... straight up, real talk ... as a tax paying citizen."

He added, "Jemele is family."

ESPN's Josina Anderson Fires Back at Trump ... Stop Attacking Jemele!

10/10/2017 6:34 AM PDT
Breaking News

One of Jemele Hill's ESPN colleagues says she's sick and tired of Donald Trump's attacks on the "SportsCenter" host ... and is publicly calling for POTUS to back off. 

Josina Anderson -- an NFL sideline reporter/insider -- tweeted, "Stop attacking our colleague Jemele Hill, any other journalists or media entities. We are doing our work."

Trump had previously tweeted that Hill was responsible for "tanking" ratings on the sports network -- this after she was hit with a 2-week suspension for comments about Jerry Jones

Josina and Jemele are pretty tight off the air -- and it's clear Josina is upset with how things are going down. 

FYI, Lindsay Czarniak‏ -- who also works at ESPN -- voiced her feelings about Hill's suspension on Monday saying, "The suspension of my friend @jemelehill is sad and disappointing on a number of levels."

Judge Mathis Jemele Could Sue ESPN ... And Win

10/10/2017 12:50 AM PDT

Judge Mathis has Jemele Hill's back in a big way -- and says if she tried to sue ESPN over her 2-week suspension, "I think she'd win."

"I support her 100% in everything she has done to express her 1st amendment rights," Mathis told us ... "and if it violates policy of ESPN then perhaps ESPN has a policy that's unconstitutional."

Mathis says he has no doubt Hill would be victorious in court -- but a nasty drawn-out legal battle could cost Jemele her career ... and she needs to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze. 

Jemele Hill Suspended By ESPN Over Jerry Jones Tweets

10/9/2017 12:30 PM PDT
Breaking News

ESPN has suspended "SportsCenter" anchor Jemele Hill for 2 weeks -- after she "violated social media guidelines" by encouraging people upset with Jerry Jones to boycott his sponsors. 

Hill was reacting to the Dallas Cowboys owners' statement that any players who "disrespect the flag" will not play for his team. 

"If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don't place the burden squarely on the players," Hill tweeted. 

There were more tweets -- each with the same sentiment. 

ESPN clearly feels Hill crossed the line and hit her with a 2-week suspension. 

"Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines," ESPN says.

"She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. 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."

Hill had been in hot water before ... after calling Donald Trump a "white supremacist."

LaVar Ball Hiring Private Tutors for LaMelo ... Focusing On 2 Subjects

10/9/2017 12:30 AM PDT

LaVar Ball is bringing in the best private tutors he can find to educate his 16-year-old son LaMelo Ball after pulling him out of high school ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

We spoke with a rep for the Ball family who tells us LaMelo's homeschooling program will consist of "private tutors while LaVar trains him (in basketball) for the next two years to get better and stronger."

We asked if there were any areas of study LaMelo will focus on and got this response: 

"Math and English are his stronger subjects so he can count his money and communicate when it's not right."

LaVar previously told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne he was going to bring Melo to the hood for pickup games to keep him in basketball shape ... but we're told he will also continue to play AAU games. 

Don Lemon to Trump Apologize To Barack Obama ... And Then ESPN Will Follow

9/17/2017 12:30 AM PDT

Don Lemon says if President Trump wants an apology from ESPN for Jemele Hill's remarks, he should man up and do one thing first ... say sorry to Barack Obama.

What would Trump be apologizing for? He was very critical of Obama during his presidency, including calling BO a racist, and of course questioning whether or not he was born in America.

Don's point seems to be that Trump, while a private citizen, did the exact same thing Hill did, and if her network has to apologize -- like Trump has asked -- then he should step up and do the same.

Don't hold your breath, Don.

Kevin Durant 'I Support Jemele' Doing What She Believes In!

9/15/2017 7:08 AM PDT

Kevin Durant says he's 100% behind Jemele Hill "standing up for what she believes in" ... telling TMZ Sports he totally supports the embattled ESPN star.

"I'm behind Jemele -- I support her," Durant told us outside Poppy in L.A.

Donald Trump came at ESPN on Friday for Hill's "white supremacist" tweet -- demanding the network "apologize for untruth" ...  this after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill's comment a "fireable offense." 

Of course, KD has his own issues with POTUS -- remember when he told us he "don't f**k with" the Donald? Yeah, not a fan ... but still, having an MVP publicly support Hill is a HUGE deal.

Marlon Wayans Defends Jemele Hill Trump Shouldn't Be So White Supremacist-ish

9/14/2017 6:28 AM PDT

If Donald Trump doesn't wanna be called a "white supremacist," he shouldn't do so many white supremacy things ... so says Marlon Wayans.

The "Marlon" star made it clear he stands with Jemele Hill after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested ESPN should fire her for a series of anti-Trump tweets.

Hill has since issued a statement ... saying, "My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light."

ESPN also weighed in ... "Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN."

"She has acknowledged that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology."

Hill appeared on ESPN on Wednesday and the plan appears to be to keep her on the air. At least for now. 

Al Sharpton We'll Boycott ESPN If Jemele Hill Gets Fired

9/13/2017 4:21 PM PDT

Al Sharpton says he's got Jemele Hill's back -- and if ESPN fires her over her anti-Trump tweets, he'll lead a boycott against the network.

The Rev. tells TMZ Sports he's furious with the White House and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for saying Hill's tweets are a "fireable offense."

FYI, Hill strongly tweeted against Trump on Sept. 11 ... calling him a "white supremacist" and "the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime."

Sharpton says Hill has every right to express her political views without fear that the government will call for her job. 

"Let's not forget, ESPN is regulated by the FCC. The FCC commissioners are appointed by the White House so it's a whole different level of intimidation on media outlets when you have the press secretary [calling for a reporter's job]." 

Sharpton says he has a message for Hill -- "Stand strong. If they take you out, many of us in the civil rights community will stand up for you and take ESPN off our service."

White House Press Sec. ESPN Should Fire Jemele Hill ... Over Anti-Trump Comments

9/13/2017 12:07 PM PDT
Breaking News

Donald Trump's mouthpiece is calling for ESPN to fire anchor Jemele Hill -- claiming her tweets calling the President a "white supremacist" are outrageous and unacceptable.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- the White House press secretary -- was holding a news conference on Wednesday when a reporter asked if Trump was aware of Hill's comments.

Sanders replied, "I'm not sure he's aware but I think that's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN."

Hill has never hidden her disdain for Trump -- and went off about him on Sept. 11 saying, "Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy."

"Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

ESPN had issued a statement about the situation on Tuesday saying Hill's comments "do not represent the position of ESPN."

"We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate."

Jason Whitlock Kaepernick Impersonator Is Kid ... from Kid 'n Play

9/6/2017 7:35 AM PDT

The man dressed up like Colin Kaepernick during a segment with FS1 star Jason Whitlock is not white ... despite what the Internet thinks. 

He's actually Kid from Kid 'n Play -- aka Christopher Reid, star of 'House Party' 1, 2 and 3 (remember, he was replaced by Immature in 'House Party 4'). 

Whitlock has been receiving all sorts of hate online from people who think he dressed up a white dude to mock the NFL QB. That's simply not the case. 

Others -- including ESPN's Josina Anderson -- are pissed at Whitlock for "mocking a movement." Don Cheadle gave his stamp of approval to her criticism. 

The actual segment involving Kid (as Kaep) has not aired (at the time this post was written) -- but Whitlock has hinted there's more to the story. 

"I remember the good-old days when people sought real information before feigning outrage in a publication or publicly." 

Stay tuned ... 

ESPN's Ryen Russillo On Drunk Arrest: 'I Embarrassed Myself"

9/5/2017 12:23 PM PDT
Breaking News

Ryen Russillo says he deserved the weeklong suspension he got from ESPN following his drunk arrest in Wyoming -- admitting he embarrassed himself and the network.

The ESPN host returned to his TV/Radio show on ESPNews on Tuesday and started by essentially owning up to boozing too hard that night and passing out in the wrong hotel room. 

As we previously reported, the owner of the room where Russillo passed out called cops. When they arrived, cops say Russillo reeked of booze. He was arrested for criminal entry. 

"The thing about screwing up is it can be hard when it's just you. But that's actually what's made this easy, is that it's only my fault. I have no one else to blame," Russillo says.

Russillo says he was "super depressed" in the days following the arrest -- but his friends have helped him cope. 

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