Writer Jemele Hill stuck up for her former ESPN colleague Molly Qerim Rose, who was on the receiving end of comments made by LaVar Ball that many deemed inappropriate.
On Monday, Ball stopped by ESPN’s “First Take” to discuss his son Lonzo Ball being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis in a blockbuster deal.
At one point, Rose — who’s married to former NBA player and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose — asked the father of three if she could “switch gears” to ask another question.
“You can switch gears with me any time,” Ball responded.
ESPN host Stephen A. Smith said, “Oh, Lord,” and seemed to be taken aback by Ball’s response. Afterwards, Rose dodged the comment by continuing with the segment.
“Let’s stay focused here,” she told Ball.
Before Hill weighed in, a lot of viewers took to social media and expressed their disgust at Ball’s comments.
“I’ve never been more uncomfortable in my entire life,” one person tweeted
“Lavar Ball needs to be banned from TV. This got me cringing for days,” tweeted someone else.
Hill’s response came on Monday, and she gave Rose credit for how the situation was dealt with. Hill also said Ball has no place on television.
“Kudos to Molly Querim for the professional way she handled LaVar Ball after his inappropriate comment,” wrote the Atlantic writer. “Maybe ESPN will have finally learned its lesson about putting him on TV.”
Many agreed with Hill that Ball was way out of line, while others said the former ESPN host was making too big of a deal of the exchange.
“We need to stop saying people being sensitive just for checking behavior,” she responded. “Somebody else might watch that and think it’s cool to flirt with Molly on air because LaVar did it. Sometimes y’all have a real blindspot to the situation you put women in.”