Sunday, September 26, 2021

Jemele Hill and Cari Champion Make History for Black Women on Late-Night Television

*Jemele Hill is a seasoned sports journalist and broadcaster, who has worked for The Atlantic magazine and ESPN.  Cari Champion is a veteran sports reporter and broadcast journalist, who has worked on the Tennis Channel and ESPN.  Hill and Champion together…are making history on television as they embark in uncharted territory for Black women.

On their new late-night cable talk show on Vice TV, called “Cari & Jemele:  Stick to Sports,” which airs Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m., the two African American women are on a platform and in a time frame usually given to white males.  The two women, however, are not shrinking violets, but instead  emboldened communicators.

“We‘re an example of a lot of Black Women who are seizing their own power and not waiting for someone to hand it to them,“ Hill told USA Today.  “We’re going to say what we want loudly and not worry about what people think about it.”

Hill and Champion share the love of sports and have been friends since their working days at ESPN.  They both recognize that sports – right now in America – has become a bigger platform for social change than at any other period in the country’s history.

“Sports is one of the few things that we still do together,” said Champion. “We’re a very separate society in most of the areas of our lives.  With sports, you have people of different economic backgrounds, ethnicities and genders rooting for the same things.  Introducing these ideas through sports allows you to have a much wider conversation than you have through just politics.”

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Both women agree that the timing of their new late-night talk show is perfect, especially as the country prepares for the 2020 Presidential Election, while Black people continue to face racial injustices in every sector of their lives.

“These are all things – sports, culture, politics – which people think we have to separate into different boxes, but we know there’s an intersection and we can show everyone how they work together,” Hill said.

Both women also agree that the “stick to sports” wording that’s a part of the show’s title, will be null and void.

“I think the ‘stick to sports’ mentality has been totally terminated,” Champion said. “The people who wanted that were always a very loud minority, but now…the toothpaste is out of the tube.  It can’t really go back in.  Where we are now, sticking to sports isn’t possible.”

“Cari & Jemele:  Stick to Sports” airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on Vice TV

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