After going back-and-forth all weekend with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, Dan Le Batard has chosen not to do his national radio show, a source with knowledge of the discussions said.
Le Batard’s decision comes in the wake of his comments about president Donald Trump and the “Send her back” chants at a rally directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somalian refugee turned American citizen. Le Batard’s words were clearly in violation of ESPN’s politics policy under Pitaro.
Le Batard is expected to be on his formatted television show, “Highly Questionable,” Monday afternoon. The plan is for him to return to radio on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
ESPN officially declined comment. Le Batard did not immediately return a message.
This weekend, Pitaro and Le Batard discussed ESPN’s politics policy, a source said. Pitaro, since becoming the network’s president more than a year ago, has decreed that the network stay out of political talk unless it delves into sports.
Le Batard described that as a “meat shield,” in his comments about the recent events involving Trump. Le Batard used a tweet from FS1/SiriusXM’s Nick Wright to launch into his comments.
“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.
Le Batard missed the first hour of Friday’s show and his sidekick, Jon (Stugotz) Wiener, said Le Batard was “eating.”
Now, Le Batard — the son of Cuban immigrants, who recently signed a multi-million contract — is in the position of either doing his show the way ESPN wants it or potentially causing a bigger issue.
ESPN has chosen not to discipline Le Batard so far. On Friday, The Post and NBC News reported ESPN had sent out word to employees that the political policy stands. ESPN did this in the form of an e-mail to key editorial decision makers, not a company-wide memo.
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