ESPN pundit Dan Le Batard is not a fan of President Donald Trump, and he made that clear with some recent comments.
“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 somethings on Twitter and you saw what happened after that. Then, here nobody talks politics on anything unless we can use one of these sports figures as meat shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects,” the ESPN pundit said on Thursday during his ESPN show in response to chants of “Send her back” about Ilhan Omar during a Wednesday rally for Donald Trump. (RELATED: ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro Says Fans ‘Do Not Want Us To Cover Politics’)
Le Batard also added, “We don’t talk about what is happening unless there is some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through.”
You can watch his full comments below.
Stop what you’re doing and watch this.@LeBatardShow responds to the racist “Send her back” and “Go back to your country” attacks against Ilhan Omar and other congresswomen.
“If you’re not calling it abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric, you’re complicit.” pic.twitter.com/ntOC2Seg3b
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) July 18, 2019
Whether your agree with the President or not, these comments from Le Batard show a change of course from ESPN.
The network had done such an amazing of staying away from politics ever since Jimmy Pitaro took over for John Skipper as the president of ESPN.
They’d done a great job of pivoting away from the lecturing and just sticking to sports. It looked like things had really turned around.
According to the Washington Post, ESPN had declined to comment on the situation, but they damn sure better figure it out.
I don’t care if you love Trump or hate him. I really don’t. People want sports from ESPN. We want to catch highlights, fun sports debates and ultimately the game.
That’s why the network exists. It doesn’t exist to lecture viewers on whether or not they’re complicit with racism if they support Trump.
Again, the network had done such a nice job of focusing on just sports under Pitaro. Hopefully, this is just a one off event, and not the new normal.
Le Batard is most certainly entitled to his opinions about Trump. That’s his right in America, but he doesn’t get paid to lecture people on what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to politics.
Everything will be just fine for ESPN if they stick to sports. If they don’t, they’ll be facing the same problems they had under Skipper.