ESPN host Jemele Hill, who stirred controversy after tweeting that President Donald Trump is a “white supremacist” unfit to serve in the White House, told TMZ she “deserved” her two-week suspension from the network for violating social media policy.
But Hill also said she’ll “never take back what I said.”
“I deserved a suspension. I violated policy,” Hill told TMZ during an impromptu interview at the Los Angeles International Airport. “Going forward we’ll be in a good, healthy place.”
She added: “I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy.”
But Hill also said she’d only apologize for putting “ESPN in a bad spot,” not for what she said.
After Hill called Trump a white supremacist on Twitter in September, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her comments were “a fireable offense by ESPN.”
“My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs,” Hill later said. “My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light.”
Hill was suspended earlier this month after she suggested on Twitter that fans not patronize advertisers supporting the Dallas Cowboys. She urged the action after team owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench players who took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
ESPN suspended her, saying the Cowboys tweets constituted her second violation of its “social media guidelines,” which weren’t clearly detailed in a statement from the network. ESPN noted her previous “impulsive tweet,” and said comments should not “reflect negatively” on the company.
While Hill appeared somewhat contrite in the TMZ interview, it didn’t sound like she’s going to change her ways much.
“I want people to understand this: There was never any restrictions placed on me about Twitter,” she said. “So I’ll be back on Twitter, and I’ll be my usual self.”
Check out the full interview in the video above.
Hill, who co-hosts ESPN’s “SC6” with Michael Smith, plans to return to work Monday.