Four days after Dan Le Batard went on a politically charged rant on his ESPN radio show, the network continues to consider how to punish him for breaking its strict no-politics policy.
The segment of Le Batard’s show that so offended ESPN happened on Thursday, when he took aim at President Donald Trump for his immigration policies and the rally speech that sparked a crowd of people to chant “send her back” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is a Somali-born naturalized citizen.
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.— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) July 18, 2019
"If you're not calling it abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric, you're complicit." pic.twitter.com/ntOC2Seg3b
Le Batard was absent from his show for an hour on Friday, the day after the offending segment, and did not appear on the show at all on Monday. According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the choice to take Monday off was Le Batard’s, and not part of any punishment issued by the network. Le Batard reportedly told ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro that he “was not in the right frame of mind” to do his show on Monday.
Pitaro instituted the network’s no-politics policy shortly after he took the job in March 2018. That particular segment of Le Batard’s show clearly violates that policy, and according to Sports Business Daily, Le Batard spent the weekend trying to convince Pitaro to relax the policy.
As of Friday, Pitaro wasn’t budging. According to the New York Post, ESPN leadership sent out an email to “key editorial decision makers” on Friday to tell them that the policy still stands and is not expected to change.
Le Batard is expected to be on his TV show “Highly Questionable” on Monday afternoon, and back on the radio on Tuesday.
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