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ESPN’s Jemele Hill has been suspended for tweeting that fans should boycott NFL advertisers

“Change happens when advertisers are impacted,” Hill tweeted.

Jemele Hill at Advertising Week in New York in 2016. Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

ESPN has suspended journalist and TV personality Jemele Hill for suggesting on Twitter that NFL fans should boycott some of the league’s advertisers.

Hill, who got into trouble at ESPN earlier this fall for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, was responding Monday to comments made by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who threatened to bench any player who “disrespects” the American flag.

You’ll remember that hundreds of NFL players have been kneeling or locking arms during the National Anthem this season as a way to raise awareness of police brutality against people of color in the U.S. Trump hates that, and even sent Vice President Mike Pence to Indianapolis on Sunday to walk out of a game in protest because some players didn’t stand for the anthem.

Jones, who is one of the NFL’s most vocal owners, irked a lot of people by saying that players would be punished for their protests. (However, in late September, Jones himself knelt with players during the National Anthem.) Hill suggested that instead of boycotting the NFL, they should boycott the Dallas Cowboys’s advertisers.

“Change happens when advertisers are impacted,” Hill tweeted. “If you feel strongly about JJ's statement, boycott his advertisers.”

ESPN wasn’t happy. Not only is ESPN an NFL partner — the company pays big money for the rights to broadcast the NFL’s “Monday Night Football,” and streams all kind of highlights of other NFL content, like the NFL Draft — but they likely share many of the same advertisers.

ESPN suspended Hill for two weeks, claiming that it was her “second violation of our social media guidelines.” (The first being the Trump-is-a-white-supremacist tweet.)

ESPN’s statement:

“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. 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.”

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