On Friday, Hemal Jhaveri, the Race and Inclusion Editor for USA Today Sports, announced that she had been fired for her now-deleted tweet that said "it’s always an angry white man. Always," with regards to the Monday night shooting in Boulder, Colorado. The suspect ended up being a 21-year old refugee from Syria.
Hi friends. Some news.— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 26, 2021
I am no longer working at For The Win and USA TODAY. Here’s what happened. https://t.co/0EWw9PQmzq
The tweet in question, however, was screenshotted and is available in a tweet from Dave Rubin.
I’m shocked and appalled that the Race and Inclusion editor at a major newspaper, is, in fact, a racist. (And pronouns in bio, of course.) pic.twitter.com/lhP7mKTRj6— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) March 23, 2021
Jhaveri's announcement tweet links to a Medium piece she wrote. In the 1,200-word piece, she only once acknowledges she made "a mistake" further down her piece, in addition to her one apology:
On Monday night, I sent a tweet responding to the fact that mass shooters are most likely to be white men. It was a dashed off over-generalization, tweeted after pictures of the shooter being taken into custody surfaced online. It was a careless error of judgement, sent at a heated time, that doesn’t represent my commitment to racial equality. I regret sending it. I apologized and deleted the tweet.
We can all still see the tweet, which is inclunded in Jhaveri's own piece. I didn't see "most likely to be" in her tweet. I say "always," twice.
The overall focus of the piece, and of subsequent tweets in her thread, shows that Jhaveri regards herself as very much the victim. In closing her piece she writes:
We’re never going to see real change in newsrooms unless editors allow for their writers, and BIPOC writers specifically, to freely critique white structural relations. The fact that many newsrooms still view that as “bias” is a saddening and dispiriting fact.
Like many places, USA TODAY values “equality and inclusion,” but only as long as it knows its rightful place, which is subservient to white authority.
For The Win has been essential to me finding my voice, and my editors (past and current), who will get grateful notes from me in the future, are what true white allies should be. They listened to me, they empowered me, and then got out of the way. I can not thank them enough.— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 26, 2021
I have no idea what's next for me, but I am coming around to the fact that the work I want to do is just not possible within the confines of 'traditional' news outlets.— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 26, 2021
As long as news organizations like USA TODAY are susceptible to "both sides" bad faith arguments, any writer who tackles these issues is vulnerable. It is unacceptable to preach about commitment to diversity, and then hang those reporters out to dry a the slightest push back.— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 26, 2021
It’s clear that Jhaveri's "commitment to racial equality" doesn't extend to white people when she herself laments that "my previous tweets were flagged not for inaccuracy or for political bias, but for publicly naming whiteness as a defining problem. That is something USA TODAY, and many other newsrooms across the country, can not [sic] tolerate."
So, is she sorry, or is she just sorry that people took notice? It looks like you can make the case for the latter, especially when screenshotted tweets of hers made it into a piece from Katie addressing how wrong this leftist narrative was.
Jhaveri did not even try to at least pretend to apologize for her take on Oral Roberts with her hit piece of "Oral Roberts University isn't the feel good March Madness story we need." Jhaveri went after the private, Christian university for having... wait for it... Christian policies on sexuality, even calling them for them to be banned. Her multiple tweets are still up targeting the Christian school, in addition to the ones promoting her piece.
That is not the argument here. The NCAA says they are for equality and inclusion, yet are OK with schools that have policies that prohibit homosexual behavior. That's not OK! https://t.co/TIjzuCc5bZ— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 22, 2021
True, I am very exclusionary towards anyone that supports anti-lgbtq+ policies https://t.co/WayrDEEkZq— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 22, 2021
I mean, did you guys think a fundamentalist Christian school was gonna be cool?— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 22, 2021
Don’t get me started on the nun worship.— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 22, 2021
No social dancing is the tip of the objectionable ice berg. As others have posted, Oral Roberts is vigorously anti-LGBTQ+ and should have no place in NCAA. pic.twitter.com/JVpyg4OHdO— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) March 22, 2021
She even brags about and doubles down on such criticism, in two different places on her Medium piece:
During my time at For The Win, my most important work focused on tackling systemic racism and sexism within sports, going up against the NHL, Barstool Sports, and most recently, Oral Roberts University’s anti-LGBTQ+ policy.
As a columnist and editor, I’ve had to walk the fine line of advocating for diverse and better stories, while also realizing that the comfort of our white audiences needed to be kept top of mind. On social media, that is what I failed at. There is nothing so offensive to some readers as calling out white supremacy, or, as the backlash over this Oral Roberts University column shows, taking a difficult stand for true equality and inclusion.
ORU was receiving the attention as a "cinderella story," which even Jhaveri could admit, though the school's consumed her, for being only the second-ever 15 seed in Sweet 16.