ESPN host may have legal defense for Trump comments

Donald TrumpEven though the White House suggested that ESPN host Jemele Hill be fired for her comments about President Trump, the sports network may not have legal grounds for dismissing her, according to lawyers quoted by The New York Times. ESPN, which is based in Connecticut, could be affected by a state law protecting free speech beyond what the First Amendment guarantees. Hill is facing criticism for calling Trump a white supremacist on social media. ESPN released a statement saying Hill’s comments do not reflect the views of the company. The Times reports that Connecticut…has General Statute 31-51q, which reads in part that any employer, including private employers, “who subjects any employee to discipline or discharge on account of the exercise by such employee of rights guaranteed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution” is liable for damages caused “by such discipline or discharge.”