Does ESPN Have a Double Standard?

As the fallout from ESPN Anchor Jemele Hill’s comments continues, many on the Right are accusing ESPN of having a double standard. Their evidence for this is the fact that Curt Schilling was fired for his controversial comments whereas Jemele was given a slap on the wrist for her controversial comments. However, I think the bigger question is are the comments even comparable

A tweet from Jemele Hill accusing Trump of being a white supremacist.

Jemele referred to Trump as a White Supremacist. In a blog a few days ago, I disagreed with her stating that I think a more accurate term for Trump is racist which I still stand by. As I told someone in a Tweet, I don’t think Trump understands DNA and genetics well enough to be a White Supremacist. However, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not what’s important. What’s important is how accurate is the criticism of the comments. Are people right to say that Jemele’s comments were offensive? Yes and no. I can see where a Racist or White Supremacist would be offended that they were referred to as such. However, as I laid out in my first piece on this topic, there is definitely a strong element of truth to the comments. I believe that rather than being offended by the comments by Jemele, that the White House, Trump and Trump’s racist base might want to look inward and see what may have inspired the comments.

This is America and I am a free speech absolutist. As long as you aren’t breaking our liable laws or threatening violence against another person which Jemele wasn’t in this case, you can say whatever you want. I think we can all agree that Jemele was not threatening violence against Trump. However, there is room for debate of sorts when it comes to liable which is defined as saying something blatantly untrue that you know is untrue about another person in a public forum.

Trump ESPN.jpg
President Trump responds to the recent controversy in his usual fashion.

For the record, Trump has said repeatedly he is not racist. However, the people of the United States including Jemele are in no way obligated to believe him. The belief that Trump is or isn’t a White Supremacist or a racist really is in the eyes or in this case ears of the person making a decision about Trump’s character. Can Jemele prove that Trump is a White Supremacist like she claims? Yes. Can Trump prove that he isn’t like he claims? Yes. Can they both be right and both be wrong? Yes and yes. The reason for this being that it depends on which evidence you use to make your claim and how you use it. Therefore, I agree with ESPN’s decision to not fire Jemele. I also agree with their decision to reprimand Jemele because after the Schilling incident they banned all employees other than Nate Silver who also runs the political analytics site 538 from talking about politics on air or online. Most importantly though, I feel like what she said is her opinion and she is entitled to that opinion. Just like I feel that her detractors are entitled to their opinion.

Now we can discuss the comments that Curt Schilling made. “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s room not so much.”

Let’s break down Curt’s comment piece by piece. Yes, Chromosomally speaking men are men and women are women even after they have gender reassignment surgery because said surgery does not change chromosomes. However, in EVERY OTHER WAY, they are the gender they identify as. I guess if you want to be that asshole who feels like Trans People are lying to everyone because their chromosomes have not changed you can be but I think that makes you a ridiculous human being.

Next, Curt, no one said anything about who people sleep with is not part of this conversation. Most people are not having sex in public restrooms. They just aren’t.

Next, let’s talk about the design of the men’s room vs the design of the women’s room. Obviously, the men’s room has urinals which are not designed for women and toilets which are designed for both men and women. Curt, you know this, you have toilets in your house. This brings us to the design of the women’s room. The women’s room obviously contains toilets. As we have discussed a toilet is designed for use by both sexes. Therefore, the correct statement is Urinals are designed for men. Toilets are designed for men and women. The women’s room has toilets, therefore, it is designed for both sexes the men’s room has urinals which are designed for men to pee in and toilets which are designed for both sexes to use for peeing or pooping. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the bathroom, in general, is designed for both men and women.

So does ESPN have a double standard for handling Jemele and Curt differently? No. The reason is simple. Their comments are different. One is a matter of opinion for which there is ample evidence to prove or disprove depending on who you talk to involving an unpopular President when criticizing government officials is protected speech in the Constitution. The other set of remarks did not involve criticizing a politician and they involved taking a stance that is highly unpopular(supporting the NC bathroom bill) in the court of public opinion as well as deeply inaccurate. Therefore, it is safe to assume that ESPN would have faced a backlash from the majority of America for not firing Schilling and that it would have also faced a backlash from the majority of America if they had fired Jemele. Is that a Double Standard? No. That’s called recognizing that we live in America. It’s called recognizing that America is a Capitalistic country and that pissing off your customer base(the American people) you will hurt your business. Given Trump’s unpopularity, firing Jemele would have accomplished nothing more than pissing off much of ESPN’s customer base and not firing Schilling would have accomplished the same thing.

by, Paul McEnroe

Copyright 2017 For A More Perfect America

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