University of Miami

Dan Le Batard pressures Paul Finebaum into an apology after ‘third-world’ comment

Things are getting rather spicy at ESPN.

College football analyst Paul Finebaum apologized Tuesday for referring to the University of Miami as a “third-world program” after radio host Dan Le Batard pressed him for clarification.

A caller asked Finebaum to comment on the Miami fan who allegedly attacked Florida’s band director after the Gators defeated the Hurricanes Saturday night. Finebaum, who primarily covers the Southeastern Conference, said he wasn’t surprised.

“I don’t want to incite the crowd here but when it comes to Miami, nothing surprises me,” Finebaum said on Monday. “It’s just a ... it’s a third-world program if you ask me.”

The next day Le Batard, a Cuban-American and longtime Miami resident, demanded an explanation for the comment he called “coded dog whistle language.”

“So what did you mean by third-world program Paul? Can you clarify that for us please?” he asked over the airways. “We are not in the business of demanding apologies. We are unlikely to demand an apology unless your clarification does not suit us.”

Miami is a city known for its diversity. Over 80-percent of the Miami-Dade population are people of color, according to the most recent Census estimates.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.