Jemele Hill & ESPN: When Alignment Is Lacking, It’s Time to Split

Jemele HIll and ESPN split 'amicably'
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Second to “self-care,” alignment is the keyword of 2018. Everywhere you turn, there is talk of folks trying to feng shui their lifestyles to vibrate to their highest selves. Jemele Hill’s not-so-sudden departure from ESPN is no different. Reports swirled that Hill was offered a buyout from the network and they came to an agreement for an amicable split. The conclusion of that rocky relationship provides ample lessons about being in alignment.

Let’s discuss the opposite to gain a clearer understanding. What does it mean to be misaligned in the workplace? That’s a question I can answer no doubt. It’s when you wake up on a Monday morning, gaze at the window and ponder what type of B.S. will be brought to you throughout the day. It’s when you wish you had the power to become invisible for 8 hours while you get your work done. When the mere sight of an HR person sniffing around your LinkedIn page puts you on Cloud Nine. Or when you’d much rather Skype into morning meetings because face-to-face interactions are annoying and cringy.

We are all on this path to become closely aligned with our hopes and dreams, and it is our hope that that alignment will make us enough money to keep the lights on.

But, sometimes keeping the lights on isn’t enough. Hill’s values were on the line and worth much more than being relevant in sports or making ends meet. From what I can see, as a woman of color in this journalism world that is dominated by white male-ness, she grew tired of explaining that Black people are due equality, humanity, and basic decency.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that Colin Kaepernick’s silent and peaceful protest wasn’t formulated to disrespect the flag? They knew what it was about; they just chose to be willfully ignorant.

The Washington Post reports that Hill is already planning to do deeper work via a storytelling partnership through Lodge Freeway Media, a production company she co-helms with fellow The Undefeated journalist, Kelley L. Carter.

Pre- ESPN split, Hill gushed about the possibilities to the Detroit Metro Times via The Washington Post:

“It would be foolish of me not to think of what else is possible for me beyond ESPN because of my personal desires and things I still wish to accomplish,” said Hill. “I know that whenever I kick off the next iteration of my career, it will involve me getting more deeply involved in producing original content. There are avenues opening up for women of color to provide different perspectives that’s something we really wanted to take a hard look at.”

Friends, that is alignment.

Doing what speaks to your soul, focusing on what wakes you up in the morning, enriching lives and being heard is alignment. May we all have the courage to be like Hill and walk in the path that is destined for us no matter who objects.

Photo via YouTube

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