ESPN host Dan Le Batard has called his network “cowardly” for not criticizing President Donald Trump and the “Send Her Back” chant at the president’s North Carolina rally earlier this week.
After years of losing tens of thousands of subscribers a year, in part because ESPN was so over-the-top to the left, the network began systematically scaling back its political content. But for Le Batard, that was a mistake.
On the heels of a Trump rally where fans of the president started a “send her back” chant aimed at Somali-born, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Le Batard went after the president and his voters as “racists” on his Thursday radio show, according to The Hill.
“What happened last night, this felt un-American,” said Le Batard, who is of Cuban descent.
“It’s not the America that my parents aimed to get for us, for exiles, for brown people,” Le Batard added. “There’s a racial division in this country that’s being instigated by the president, and 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 they use one of these sports figures as a meat shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects.”
Le Batard also attacked his network for not being woke enough about politics.
“We don’t talk about what is happening unless there’s some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through when sports has always been the place where this stuff changes,” he said.
Le Batard noted that sports figures like Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and James Brown were all very political about their sport in their day. And he complained that many of these old-timers are going to pass away “with Colin Kaepernick still out of the league” because of his activism.
Le Batard then insisted that Kaepernick’s protests were “not about the flag.”
Kaepernick, Le Batard said, was “literally blackballed because we’re taking this stuff and we’re making it about the flag when it’s not about the flag! It’s about race, like burning a cross and saying it’s about God. It’s not about the flag!”
He next went on to attack white voters as racists and called Ilhan Omar the perfect American.
“Send her back,’ how are you any more American than her? You’re more privileged, you’re whiter, you’re richer, people don’t know whether your money is real or not,” Le Batard said. “You’ve had every privilege afforded to you, every privilege! And now, what you do with that power? You go after brown people and black people and minorities? And around here, we won’t talk about it? We won’t talk about it unless Russell Wilson is saying something about it on his Instagram.”
Outkick the Coverage boss Clay Travis noted that the sudden turn to the left is Le Batard’s way of getting out of his ESPN contract.
But Travis also noted that Le Batard’s attack was a direct shot at his bosses.
Le Batard’s rant was praised by liberals, naturally:
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.