A “Lil Positivity”: ESPN’s Jemele Hill Talks Exclusively To Bossip About Being A Black Female Sports Writer, Growing Up In Detroit, And Whether Or Not She Would Date A Pro Athlete

Bossip: You are like a segue machine, you are just knocking them down! We read this interview that you did that you did back in 2006 saying you were the only black female columnist in the United States.

Jemele: Sports columnist.

Bossip: Correct. Does that still stand?

Jemele: In 2006, it was the case. I was in print newspapers, in the US and Canada. Out of 305 daily newspapers, the interesting thing about that, when I left the Orlando Sentinel, that’s where I was before the ESPN, there was a black female sports writer named Shannon Owens. She is a good friend of mine, she was on the paper, and she was eventually promoted to sports columnist and she became the only black female sports columnist after me. The numbers didn’t increase she just replaced me. Because I am in new media, I don’t know what the numbers are (now). People think you should feel special about a number like that but you don’t. It’s disappointing if anything, that means that the field is not opening up. Even now there are plenty of black female anchors and analyst at ESPN. It’s great to be in the company, but if someone one was in print, which was my first love, it’s tough to see there are not more black sports female columnist who are out there and have their own voice.

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