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: How long have you been reading Bossip? When we saw you retweet us on Twitter we were a happily surprised to say the least.

Jemele: I probably have been reading for about three years, it’s a guilty pleasure. The truth is you get a chance to report things and say the things that I think of myself but I couldn’t say. You guys do a good job of feeding that side of me. Just because I work for ESPN I am not some kind of high brow elitist. I’m a lot more regular than people think. Yeah I read Bossip, I love your links of the day, what can I say? I check in it all the time. It’s a good way to stay connected, I think its very entertaining, its funny, and suits my personality.

Bossip: Outside of your 9-5 what other things are your into?

Jemele: I’m teaching a class at University Central Florida, business media, I am teaching a class this semester and that’s been great. It’s been very energizing because I have had a chance to connect with the students. That’s a really big deal for me because I really had really wonderful mentors, like Michael Wilbon was one of earliest mentors and he is someone I have the upmost respect for in the business. I don’t think mentors can figure everything out for you, but the fact that he was willing to teach a scrub like me back in the day, he took the time out for me and now we’re good friends. I have always tried to carry on that same spirit, paying it forward. In addition to teaching, I do a lot of stuff with the National Association for Black Journalist, I’ve been a member since 1992, since I was in high school, which makes me feel really, really old but its true. I am really just a regular person, I grew up in Detroit, as Jay-Z says, I grew up in the real hood not the rap hood. A lot of people are surprised, I went to parties and ate fish sandwiches, I am still eating Popeye’s spicy chicken all day! Just a regular life, that’s still me all days. I just hope people understand ESPN is what I do, it’s not who I am.

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