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Oct 12, 2017


October 12, 2017 (Washington, DC) – In a letter received by ESPN’s President John Skipper today, a number of African American women, civil rights and social justice leaders are voicing their support of Jemele Hill who has been suspended for two weeks by the sports network for her tweets about President Trump and Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones. The letter campaign is being led by the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) and Black Women For Positive Change, stating that they “object to the suspension of Jemele from ESPN,” and go on further to say that “She is entitled to comment on the actions taken by Jerry Jones, who knelt with athletes last week and then turned on them this week…explicitly impending upon the First Amendment Rights of his players…We strongly request that Jemele be reinstated immediately.”

Says NCBCP President and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Melanie Campbell, “What’s happening here, and what ESPN seems to be directly endorsing and perpetuating, is a total subjugation of the rights and freedoms of all people of color, men and women. Everyone needs to understand that we are using our constitutionally granted rights of expression to draw attention to the violence against innocent victims of color in this nation. Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Stephanie Myers shares, “The actions of our athletes, and this journalist, are not protests against the flag, the military or even America. It is an attempt to draw attention to what is wrong in hopes that it can be corrected. Jemele’s suspension by ESPN only confirms that the racism we are protesting does, indeed, exist.”

To date, in addition to the 35 Black national and regional organizations, who have signed on in support of this letter, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, National Action Network, NAACP, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, 100 Black Men of America, Incorporated, Moms Rising and Women’s March have also signed on in support of this letter.


The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.

Black Women for Positive Change is a national policy-focused network of predominately African American women and “Good Brothers” from States including: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New York, Texas and Virginia. The network has two primary goals: (1) To positively contribute to ideas and methods that can strengthen and expand the American Middle/Working class, with an emphasis on the African American community; and (2) To Change the Culture of Violence in America.

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