An ESPN SportsCenter host is facing backlash for her comments on Twitter comparing police officers to the “slave patrols” that existed hundreds of years ago and were put in place to enforce discipline on runaway and defiant black slaves.
Jemele Hill, the co-host of the 6 p.m. EST ESPN time slot tweeted on Friday to express her dislike of the Baltimore Ravens’ decision to sign another player over Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback who received a lot of criticism last year for kneeling during the national anthem to fight against oppression of non-white races in the U.S., as well as police brutatlity.
Hill tweeted that the Baltimore Raves signed “a dude who quit football to be a realtor and played in two games in college over a Super Bowl QB.”
A Twitter user responded to the tweet reminding Hill that Kaepernick posted a meme on Twitter in June comparing police officers to a “runaway slave patrol.” Just a few hours before Kaepernick’s tweet, Minnesota Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty in the death of motorist Philando Castile.
“I feel like it’s been forgotten that he basically called (all) cops ‘slave patrol’ a month ago. I mean, that’s pretty inflammatory,” Twitter user Nathanael Johnson tweeted.
“Inflammatory, but historically accurate,” Hill tweeted in response.
“There’s historically truth there, yes … but is it fair to say now to all the cops, esp when many minorities serve?” Johnson responded.
“I wouldn’t say all, but it’s been clear for a long time the policing & judicial system are institutionally racist,” Hill replied.
“Slave patrols” were first established in the early 18th Century in South Carolina and were last organized during the Reconstruction era in the late 19th Century.
ESPN has been criticized over the last several months in the media for pushing a politically liberal agenda, amid millions of subscriber loses over the course of several years.