Since Jimmy Pitaro became president of ESPN in May of 2018, he has forced a shift away from speaking politics on any of ESPN’s sites. Most notably, Jemele Hill has been caught in the crossfire of ESPN trying to shake any and all ties to politics and stating political views, especially while on air.
Le Batard paid that notion absolutely no mind on “The Dan Le Batard Show.” After catching wind of Trump’s comments to the four congresswomen, then seeing video from a Trump rally where his followers started chanting “send her back,” Le Batard went off.
Le Batard mentions a tweet from Fox Sports personality Nick Wright, who himself mentioned he doesn’t delve into politics very often, but felt that this was too “abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric” not to offer his thoughts.
The chant was aimed at Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, she is the only of the four women Trump originally attacked with his “go back where you came from” statement, that is not originally from the United States.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Those are the four women who were the subjects of Trump’s racism, and they have become known as “The Squad.”
Trump was not the only person Le Betard attacked, shockingly, he went after his own employer, ESPN.
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,” said Le Batard. He continued to say “then, here, all of the 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 the subject.”
The jabs at ESPN did not stop there.
“The only way we can discuss it around here – because this isn’t about politics, it’s about race – what you’re seeing happening around here is about race being turned into politics. And we only talk about it around here when Steve Kerr or 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.”
Throughout his entire spill, Le Batard was clearly emotional. He mentioned numerous times how he is the child of immigrant parents who sacrificed so much to come to America for freedom. Now, he says this whole thing feels “UnAmerican.”
ESPN has not yet commented on Le Batard’s opinions.