The White House on Wednesday said ESPN should fire SportsCenter co-host Jemele Hill for her tweets calling President Trump an ignorant bigot and white supremacist.
Hill’s tweetstorm on Monday was originally sparked when she condemned musician Kid Rock, who is flirting with running for the US Senate, for his use of the Confederate flag.
But the TV host quickly pivoted to Trump, calling him an “unfit, bigoted, incompetent moron” who had empowered white supremacists.
The comments outraged Trump supporters, many of whom noted that ESPN fired analyst and former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling over an anti-transgender Facebook post last year.
In a statement on Tuesday, the network said Hill’s views “do not represent the position of ESPN.”
“We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” ESPN said.
As of Wednesday, however, Hill had not deleted her tweets.
Asked about Hill’s comments at a press briefing on Wednesday, White House pres secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the tweets were outrageous.
“I’m not sure if [Trump] is aware of the comments,” Sanders said, “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.”
An ESPN spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Sanders calling for Hill to be fired.
Trump was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for his handling of the white supremacist march in Charlottesville after he initially blamed the deadly violence “on many sides.”
Asked why many influential black Americans have been critical of Trump, Sanders said the president had met with “highly respected leaders in the African-American community.”
The president did meet Wednesday with Tim Scott, the black Republican senator from South Carolina who said Trump had “compromised” his moral authority through his handling of Charlottesville.
“They talked about [Charlottesville’ pretty in-depth,” Sanders said of the meeting, “but the focus was primarily on solutions moving forward, and that was what both people came to the meeting wanting to discuss, is what we can do to bring people together, not talk about divisions within the country.”