People protest ESPN over Hill suspension - WFSB 3 Connecticut

People protest ESPN over Hill suspension

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Six people blocked the driveway to ESPN near the Southington/Bristol line late Monday night. (Jalen Parks) Six people blocked the driveway to ESPN near the Southington/Bristol line late Monday night. (Jalen Parks)
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) -

Following the suspension of Sportscenter host Jemele Hill, people protested the company's decision on the ESPN campus in Bristol late Monday night. 

Six people blocked the driveway to ESPN near the Southington/Bristol line just before midnight. 

Police said the protestors were "advised that they were on private property and that they should leave." The protestors left without incident, according to police. 

On Sunday, Hill tweeted about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones having said that any player who "disrespects the flag" will not play. Hill said that "Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don't kneel, some will see them as sellouts."

Following a series of tweets, Hill was suspended for two weeks by ESPN. 

President Donald Trump tweeted about Hill on Tuesday. 

Hill got in trouble when she previously tweeted that Trump was a "white supremacist" and "bigot."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, in which it condemned ESPN's decision.

“We condemn ESPN’s decision to punish Jemele Hill for exercising her right to speak out on her personal social media page. It is ironic and disheartening that ESPN decided to undermine its employee’s free speech rights because of tweets in which she stood up for athletes’ abilities to protest racial injustice.   

Under Connecticut law, employees of private companies have a right to express their views on matters of public concern. The protests that Jemele Hill referenced on Twitter were issues of public concern before the Vice President and President of the United States weighed in, and they will remain so. Racial injustice, and the protests that injustice has inspired, are some of the most critical issues of our time.   

The only thing letting ESPN down in this situation is ESPN itself. We encourage ESPN to honor Jemele Hill’s right to speak out on her personal social media page and to reconsider a company policy that would punish a journalist for siding with the First Amendment and against racism.”   

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