March 12, 2018
Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage
Michael Smith is making his exit from SportsCenter. Smith’s departure follows behind his former co-host Jemele Hill‘s decision to leave the show in January. Hill has since moved over to ESPN’s The Undefeated website.
I have a few things to say … pic.twitter.com/tqEBXLajtp
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 26, 2018
Hill left SportsCenter shortly after being suspended for violating ESPN’s social media guidelines by “suggesting” boycotting advertisers of the NFL after the Dallas Cowboys’ owner threatened to punish players who kneeled during the national anthem.
Last month on the podcast Origins, Smith expressed that new leadership tried to marginalize and mute him and Hill, including limiting their interactions. Their on-air conversations shaped the show, and made SC6 unique as you can see in the video below.
“I’m like, so wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths that we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t talk to each other?” Smith said. “How does that make sense?”
According to Sports Illustrated, Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host will be this Friday. ESPN Executive Vice President Norby Williamson released a statement saying, “Michael is a talented commentator and we greatly appreciate and value his contributions and creativity. We are in the process of discussing with him potential next ESPN assignments.”
We’re glad to see young black journalists taking risks and refusing to be placed in a box. It takes bravery to leave a secure position on a show like SportsCenter, and we’re excited to see what Smith does next!
TELL US: Do you think Michael Smith made the right decision?!