Sports journalist Jemele Hill has been chosen as the 2018 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). According to the organization’s website, “the annual award recognized a Black journalist who has amassed a distinguished body of work with extraordinary depth, scope and significance to the people of the African Diaspora.”
In a statement released on Monday (May 21), the NABJ said Hill is known for “her provocative commentary on what’s happening in sports and in the news.” It continued to address the controversial comments about President Donald Trump last year, where she called him a “white supremacist” and the “most ignorant, offensive president of [her] lifetime.”
“She uses her platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports. Hill nearly broke the internet last year when she criticized President Donald Trump. She also, taking up the NABJ spirit of advocacy, addressed athletes’ rights to take a knee to protest police brutality,” the statement read.
The network reprimanded Hill, who was the co-host of ESPN’s The Six for her choice words about the president. She later received a two-week suspension after a “second violation” of ESPN’s social media guidelines when she tweeted about Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones. NABJ and many other celebrities stood by Hill’s side using the hashtag #IStandWithJemele.
In February, the journalist stepped down from the show to work for ESPN’s The Undefeated to satisfy her desire to do more “reporting.” Despite being honored for the very thing ESPN criticized her for, the network congratulated Hill on her achievement – leaving out any mention of the Trump scandal.
“It would be a serious understatement to call this recognition from NABJ special. This organization has been a second family for me, both personally and professionally,” Hill said of being honored by the organization. “I am humbled to be honored by an organization whose values not only match my own journalistically but has tirelessly dedicated itself to developing and nurturing journalists like me. This is the biggest accomplishment of my career.”
She will receive the award in her hometown of Detroit at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards during the NABJ Convention and Career Fair on Aug. 4. She is also the honorary co-chair of this year’s convention.