Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took to Twitter on Tuesday and rose the support of ESPN anchor Jemele Hill who faced a massive backlash after she called President Donald Trump a "white supremacist." "We are with you @jemelehill," Kaepernick wrote.
Hill, the co-host of Sports Center went on a Twitter rant Monday, saying Trump was "unqualified and unfit to be president." She wrote: “He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
The anchor was promptly denounced by ESPN, which put out a statement saying, “The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
Originally commenting on an article tweeted by the Hill website about the musician Kid Rock – who has been hinting at running for the U.S. Senate – Hill disapproved of Kid Rock's recent use of a Confederate flag, saying he was "pandering to racists."
Thousands responded to Hill’s comments and the conversation eventually pivoted to the White House and Trump.
She also added: “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime."
"His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period,” she wrote.
Some Twitter users, among them Kaepernick, supported Hill. “There is no doubt he is Ms. Hill and I applaud you for speaking truth,” said a user.
But many Trump supporters panned the anchor for airing her political views. Many said ESPN should remove Hill from her job.
Others criticized Kaepernick for supporting Hill. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback was pulled into a controversy in August when he refused to stand up when the national anthem was playing. Kaepernick said the act was in protest of what he deemed were wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he had said in an interview to NFL.
ESPN also faced flak for letting their sports anchors air political views. “ No more @espn until they get all of these racist liberal politicians off the air. Don't need your political views with my sports highlights,” tweeted one user.
According to the Washington Post, ESPN has fired people over posting controversial comments on social media comments. Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling was famously canned for sharing an obscene cartoon criticizing North Carolina’s controversial "bathroom bill" on Facebook. The bill would have required transgender persons to use public restrooms that corresponded to the sex they were assigned at birth.
“LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die,” the post said. “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” Schilling wrote in the description of a picture added with the post. “I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”