Dan Le Batard’s Criticism Of Trump Rally ‘Send Her Back’ Chant, ESPN’s No-Politics Stance Goes Viral


Le Batard (ESPN Video)

DAN LE BATARD returned to the air FRIDAY morning (7/19) an hour into his ESPN RADIO and ESPNEWS show, the day after his criticism of President TRUMP and the “send her back” chant at TRUMP’s NORTH CAROLINA rally WEDNESDAY night and ESPN’s edict to hosts not to talk about politics went viral.

LE BATARD, on THURSDAY’s show, after approvingly noting a tweet from FS1 host NICK WRIGHT calling the chant “abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric” and adding that “not calling it out makes you complicit.” elaborated on WRIGHT’s point, saying, “there’s a racial division in this country that’s being instigated by the president, and we here at ESPN haven’t had the stomach for that fight because JEMELE (HILL, who left ESPN after criticizing TRUMP in a series of tweets) did some things on TWITTER and you saw what happened after that, and then here all of a sudden nobody talks politics on anything unless we can use one of these sports figures as a meat-shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects.”

LE BATARD, the son of Cuban immigrants (his father GONZALO “PAPI” LE BATARD co-hosts ESPN’s “HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE” and is the imaging voice for his son’s radio show), added that the issue “isn’t about politics; it’s about race, (and) what you’re seeing happening around here is about race and it’s been turned into politics — we only talk about it around here when (WARRIORS coach) STEVE KERR or (SPURS coach GREGG) POPOVICH says something. We don’t talk about what is happening unless there’s some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through, when sports has always been a place where this stuff changes.” He suggested that ESPN will only discuss hot topics like racism if someone like SEAHAWKS quarterback RUSSELL WILSON posts about it on INSTAGRAM, calling it a “weak-ass shield… if you’re not calling it abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric, you’re complicit.”

On FRIDAY, after “THE LOCAL HOUR,” the 9-10a (ET) show hosted by LE BATARD’s producers in “the Shipping Container” on flagship ENTERCOM Sports WAXY-A (790 THE TICKET)/MIAMI, did not mention the controversy, co-host JON “STUGOTZ” WEINER opened the national “DAN LE BATARD SHOW WITH STUGOTZ” with two rounds of his “Wake and Take” bit, referring to LE BATARD only as busy eating a breakfast buffet (fat jokes are frequently aimed at LE BATARD on the show), followed by a segment of the “Magic Crate of Content,” a bit used frequently to interrupt when LE BATARD strays into serious topics. LE BATARD returned without any reference to the previous day’s commentary to rejoin the show for TIM KURKJIAN’s weekly baseball segment, a recap of producer MIKE RYAN RUIZ’s trip to FORT WAYNE for a minor league baseball game where the show was honored, and discussion of the NFL’s handling of the TYREEK HILL case with MINA KIMES.

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