Former ESPN reporter says she was told not to like conservative-leaning tweets

ESPN anchor Jemele Hill was suspended for violating the network’s social media policy a second time when she suggested Dallas Cowboy fans boycott the team’s advertisers.  But according to former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, it was more about the network’s own bottom line than its policies.

McHenry told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, “If you go after advertisers like Ford, Bank of America, AT&T, those advertisers are also on ESPN, so not only are you violating the social media policy for the second time in a row, you’re attacking the company’s bottom line so they have a serious issue.”

McHenry says while she was an employee at the network, conservatives didn’t feel as comfortable expressing themselves.

“I can just speak from being conservative, a lot of people who felt the same as I did were timid to express their opinions,” McHenry said on Varney & Co.

In McHenry's opinion, the perceived control over political speech was potentially due to Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger’s rumored political ambitions.

“There’s a lot of rumors and speculation out there about Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, about whether he’ll run for president in 2020 so, as a Democratic nominee. So when you hear those things, you see the ESPYs Arthur Ashe Award going to Caitlyn Jenner and that movement as opposed to a veteran, you start to raise some questions yourself.”

McHenry said she was told by ESPN management to, “not even like conservative-leaning tweets on Twitter.”

The national anthem protests are having a financial impact on the NFL as well.

“With this anthem protest issue Stuart, it’s hitting the bottom line as you mentioned. In Dallas, America’s team, ratings of the Dallas/Fort Worth area for this past Sunday’s game were down 17% compared to the same time frame last year. Jerry Jones is seeing that.”