WASHINGTON — ESPN talk show host Dan Le Batard will continue his duties without public punishment after he called out President Donald Trump while on the air last week over his racist comments.
Le Batard and ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro had a positive talk that put both parties on the same page during a scheduled meeting Thursday, anonymous sources told news outlets. He's expected to return to his show "Highly Questionable" on Friday and to the "Dan Le Batard Show" on Monday after missing several over the last few days since calling out Trump on his intolerant attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color, USA Today and others report.
ESPN had sent a reminder on Friday to all employees, including Le Batard, about its policy to avoid talking politics unless they intersect with sports.
The situation brought comparisons to then-ESPN anchor Jemele Hill tweeting in September 2017 that Trump is a "white supremacist." She's now a writer for The Atlantic and has a podcast on Spotify.
Le Batard’s criticism of the president came after his rally on July 17 in Greenville, North Carolina, where he resumed his comments after tweeting that the congresswomen should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
The audience at Trump’s rally chanted “send her back” directed at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The other three congresswomen targeted were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Talib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Le Batard said the attacks on Omar are un-American and offensive, and that the president is wrong to try and get reelected by dividing people. He also criticized his employer over its role in the national conversation.
"We here at ESPN don't have the stomach for the fight," Le Batard said. "We don't talk about what is happening unless there is some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through.
“This isn’t about politics; it’s about race," he said on air.
The 50-year-old Miami-based sports journalist is the son Cuban immigrants and co-hosts “Highly Questionable” with his father Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard.