ESPN doubles down on no-politics edict following Dan Le Batard's wild anti-Trump rant, per reports

Alex Reimer
July 22, 2019 - 10:49 am
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Dan Le Batard is off the air following his rant against ESPN management’s no-politics edict, at least for one day on one medium. 

The polarizing personality is skipping his radio show Monday, though he is expected to appear on his structured 30-minute television program, “Highly Questionable,” the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports. Le Batard is supposed to return to the radio Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Le Batard condemned ESPN’s ban on discussing social and political issues, unless they are part of a sports storyline. The impassioned soliloquy came in response to President Donald Trump’s racist attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar and the “send her back!” chants directed at her during one of his recent rallies. 

“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, and then here all of a 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 these subjects,” Le Batard said.

In the immediate aftermath of Le Batard’s segment, ESPN sent an email reminder to all employees stressing its no-politics policy, according to the AP. Network president Jimmy Pitaro, who replaced John Skipper –– one of Le Batard’s reported champions –– in early 2018, has repeatedly applauded his own efforts to keep the WorldWide Leader apolitical in these supercharged times. 

Related: Dan Le Batard rips ESPN for no-politics approach: It is a 'cowardly' and 'weak-ass shield'