ESPN host Dan Le Batard isn’t shying away from criticizing President Donald Trump, despite his own network’s “stick-to-sports” policy.
During a four-minute segment on his ESPN Radio show Thursday, Le Batard tore into his employer for not taking a stand on the “send her back” Trump rally chants that he found to be “abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric.”
“There’s a racial division in this country that’s being instigated by the president,” Le Batard said. “And we here at ESPN haven’t had the stomach for that fight.”
Le Batard doubled down on his criticism by calling out the network’s “stick-to-sports” policy, which he called “un-American” and a “weak-ass shield.”
“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 a place where this stuff changes,” Le Batard said.
Le Batard traced the policy back to the White House’s feud with former ESPN host Jemele Hill after she called the President “a white supremacist.”
“Jemele did some things on Twitter and you saw what happened after that,” Le Batard said. “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.”
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.
"If you're not calling it abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric, you're complicit." pic.twitter.com/ntOC2Seg3b
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) July 18, 2019
NBC reported Friday that Le Batard’s criticism will be handled internally and that the network has no plans to change its policy.
This isn’t the first time Le Batard has gone after his own network. In 2017 Le Batard expressed his frustration over a memo that the network sent employees on how to cover Trump’s Muslim travel ban.