Behind the scenes with Dan Le Batard
Four days after making waves with his extended rant against President Trump’s racist comments and ESPN’s no-politics policy, Dan Le Batard did not host The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Monday, although the decision was reportedly made by Le Batard himself.
Le Batard spent the weekend talking to ESPN president James Pitaro after spending more than three minutes on a passionate rant Thursday. Le Batard told Pitaro, “(he) was not in the right frame of mind to do his radio show Monday,” John Ourand reported on Twitter.
Ourand, who is a media reporter for American City Business Journal’s Sports Business Daily, reported Le Batard plans to appear on ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” later in the day.
Le Batard, the former Miami Herald columnist whose parents fled Cuba looking for a better life for their children, commented specifically on the “Send her back!” chant at one of Trump’s rallies last week, which the president did not rush to condemn.
“Send her back? How are you more American than her? You’re whiter? You’re richer? You’ve had every privilege afforded you by America,” Le Batard said. “Every privilege. And now what you do with that power is you go after black people and brown people and minorities?”
The Dan Le Batard Show, which airs every weekday on Miami’s WAXY-790, is simulcast nationwide on ESPN Radio affiliates and ESPNEWS. While Le Batard drew wide acclaim for his passionate on-air speech last week, ESPN reprimanded Le Batard and reiterated its no-politics-on-the-air policy. The Associated Press reported the network sent a memo Friday to all employees, including Le Batard, reminding them of the policy, which Pitaro instituted when he took over as the network president in 2018.
Le Batard also called ESPN’s policy, “cowardly,” as part of his rant.
Le Batard’s on-air rebuke of Trump is the most brazen political statement to cross ESPN’s airwaves since Pitaro established the policy last year. Before Pitaro was in charge, Jemele Hill, a former columnist and on-air personality for ESPN, was suspended two weeks in 2017 for calling Trump a “white supremacist” on her own Twitter page last year. She wound up leaving ESPN for The Atlantic last year.