It was the rant that sent shock-waves through ESPN and everybody else in the country who has listened to it.
Dan Le Batard, whose parents are from Cuba, gained massive attention late last week after taking time out of his radio show to condemn Donald Trump and his supporters over a deeply offensive chant that went on during a recent rally.
“What happened last night, this felt un-American,” he said. “It’s not the America that my parents aimed to get for us, for exiles, for brown people.”
“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] 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 they use one of these sports figures as a meat shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects.”
Le Batard described those “send her back” chants as “deeply offensive to me as somebody whose parents have made all the sacrifices to get to this country.”
“’Send her back,’ how are you any more American than her? You’re more privileged, you’re whiter, you’re richer, people don’t know whether your money is real or not,” Le Batard said.
“We here at ESPN don’t have the stomach for the fight,” Le Batard said. “We don’t talk about what is happening unless there is some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through.”
Although ESPN hasn’t publicly spoke on the situation, it was noticeable that Le Batard was absent for the first hour of his radio show the following day after his rant.
That wasn’t the only thing that ESPN did on that day. The Worldwide Leader in Sports has reportedly reminded their employees of their policy on talking politics, according to The AP.
“ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to avoid talking about politics after radio talk show host Dan Le Batard criticized President Donald Trump and his recent racist comments and ESPN itself on the air this week.
The reminder went out Friday to all employees, including Le Batard, according to an ESPN employee who spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about personnel matters.”
Former anchor Jemele Hill famously called Donald Trump a White supremacist on Twitter and regularly spoke on politics on social media before they ultimately suspended her for doing so. She has since left the company.
She now writes for The Atlantic and has a weekly podcast on Spotify.