At least one person thinks ESPN anchor Jemele Hill could sue the sports network over her suspension — and win. Judge Greg Mathis, the former Detroit-area district court judge turned TV judge, told TMZ, “I think she’d win.”
Hill was reprimanded for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist,” and now she’s been suspended for two weeks for her comments after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced that he will bench players who kneel for the national anthem.
“I support her 100 percent in everything she has done to express her First Amendment rights,” Mathis told TMZ. “And if it violates [the] policy of ESPN, then perhaps ESPN has a policy that’s unconstitutional.”
Hill took to Twitter to tell people who disagree with the Cowboys’ owner to let the team know. “Change happens when advertisers are impacted,” she wrote, though she clarified that she wasn’t calling for an NFL boycott.
“Absolutely, it’s unfair. Are they going to suspend Jerry Jones for saying it?” Mathis asked. “He suggested that they violate the First Amendment [rights] of his players.”
Following Hill’s Twitter comments about the president, the White House called for her to be fired. Trump, who complimented Jones in a tweet Monday night, responded to Hill’s suspension on Twitter Tuesday morning.
While Mathis believes Hill could win a case against her employer, he said the bigger question is whether she would want to go through a lengthy process that could potentially damage her image and employment ability.
“You see what they’ve done, they’ve blackballed the brother from San Francisco [Colin Kaepernick] from playing,” Mathis said. “So we know a commentator might suffer the same fate and then not be hired anywhere else.”