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Twitter users showed their support for ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, by using the hashtag #NaziBucketChallenge. The White House has called Hill’s comment a “fireable offense” and Trump himself demanded the network “apologize for untruth.”
#NaziBucketChallenge is trending nationally on Twitter. In each tweet, users have been explaining who they are, before declaring that they also believe Trump is a “white supremacist.”
Here are some of the #NaziBucketChallenge tweets:
The controversy surrounding Hill began on Monday when she called Trump a “white supremacist” in a rant that went on for several tweets. “He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader,” Hill wrote. “And if he were not white, he never would have been elected. He has surrounded himself with white supremacists — no they are not ‘alt right’ — and you want me to believe he isn’t a white supremacist?”
She added, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”
Although ESPN issued a statement, which said Hill “recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” Hill has not deleted any of her tweets about Trump.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the media that she considers Hill’s remarks a “fireable offense.” Then on Friday, Trump himself tweeted about Hill. “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth,” the president wrote.
Hill also issued a statement on Wednesday, but she didn’t apologize for what she said. “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs,” she wrote. “My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”
The “bucket challenge” part of the #NaziBucketChallenge trend is a reference to the popular 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge meme created by Peter Frates.
Trump has been accused of being supportive of white supremacists after he failed to denounce them right away after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. On Thursday, Trump stuck by his view that “both sides” were to blame.
“I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said,” Trump said Thursday. “Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”