Jemele Hill and Barstool Sports sparred on social media today.
The former ESPN SportsCenter host called out the popular sports media company for a clip from a 2016 episode of “The Rundown.”
In the clip, Dave Portnoy, Kevin ‘KFC’ Clancy and Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz discuss Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the national anthem. Portnoy begins the clip by admitting he’s going to say something “racist.”
“So I’m going to say something that’s racist,” Portnoy explains, claiming he initially thought Kaepernick was “an ISIS guy… Throw a head wrap on this guy, he’s a terrorist.”
“He looks like a Bin Laden. That’s not racist.”
Hill responded to the clip, resurfaced by Resist Programming, on Twitter.
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) June 28, 2020
“This is terrible, but then again, consider the source,” Hill said, taking a clear shot at the sports media company no stranger to online controversy.
This is terrible, but then again, consider the source. https://t.co/1NzbNXP163
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 28, 2020
After Hill called out Barstool Sports, one of her troubling old tweets resurfaced, in which she jokes about former MLB star Manny Ramirez being a “tranny.”
“My FB friends are calling him ‘Manny the Tranny’… so inappropriate and hilarious,” the former ESPN anchor wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Hill has addressed the old tweet with a statement on Twitter.
“For context, the tweet was in reference to Manny Ramirez testing positive for the woman’s fertility drug, gonadotropin. It was wholly ignorant, dumb, and offensive. I am ashamed that I was so uneducated about trans issues at the time. I stand with this community firmly today.
I kept the tweet up because I welcomed the opportunity to apologize and to show growth. See, unlike some people, I’m not defensive about my moments of failure. I learn from them and own it.
I don’t care about Dave Portnoy or any of the other Barstool sycophants RT’ing this into my TL, like it’s some gotcha moment. I care about the trans community I belittled and offended. If they don’t see me as an ally because of this, it’s my job to show them that I am,” she wrote.
Let me address this. I saw some folks circulating this tweet from 2009 in my TL after I criticized Barstool’s Dave Portnoy for a racist skit that went viral yesterday. Let me explain why I kept this tweet up when it was brought to my attention: https://t.co/Fdlwd2qF9u
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 29, 2020
“#CancelJemele” began to trend on Twitter following the resurfacing of her old tweet. “Barstool” has been trending on social media, as well.
Portnoy, meanwhile, did not apologize for his old comments. He explained them in an “Emergency Press Conference” on Twitter.
“Here’s the thing: I’ve been doing this for two decades. I’ve made fun of every group of people, every race…we’ve made jokes about it,” Portnoy said in a video posted to Twitter. “Times change, sensitivities change…when you’ve been doing it as long as we have, things f–king change.”
Emergency Press Conference – Cancel Culture Is Coming For My Head pic.twitter.com/FS3SCMd0BP
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 29, 2020
Portnoy and Barstool Sports recently sold a 36 percent stake in their business to Penn National Gaming for $163 million. They had previously received investment from the Chernin Group.