Sports and politics have always been intertwined, even though “a huge bastion of people” believe the two “shouldn’t mix,” journalist Jemele Hill told Stephen Colbert.
“They look at it like food on the plate ― some people don’t like the veggies and the mashed potatoes touching,” Hill said on “The Late Show” Thursday. “But in this case, they’ve always touched, they’ve always mixed together.”
Hill, a staff writer for The Atlantic covering sports, race and politics, was responding to Colbert’s question on whether sports and politics were “more connected now than ever” ― particularly as President Donald Trump routinely interjects himself into controversies involving sports, the late show host added.
Hill announced in September that she was leaving ESPN after 12 years at the network.
On the Colbert show, she discussed the Showtime documentary “Shut Up and Dribble,” which she narrated. NBA superstar LeBron James served as executive director for the series, which derives its title from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham infamously saying that James and fellow NBA premiere player Kevin Durant should “shut up and dribble” after they criticized Trump.
Hill joked that Ingraham inadvertently gave her “another check” with her dismissive remark.
Hill found herself in the spotlight last year after she criticized Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Twitter for threatening to bench NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
Weeks prior to the suspension announcement, Hill tweeted that Trump is “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself [with] other white supremacists.”
Colbert said Hill’s tweet “has held up like a fine wine.”
Hill said the peaceful protests by some athletes that have attracted attention should not necessarily be viewed as political.
“Some of this is just simply right and wrong,” she said. “To me, politics is when you have a pro argument, and a con argument. Is anybody out there pro-racism? Is anybody out there pro-police brutality?”