ESPN's company policy prohibits TV and radio hosts from speaking about politics, as we witnessed when Jemele Hill continually criticized President Trump last year. But that didn't stop Dan Le Batard from sounding off about Donald Trump's rally on Wednesday in Greenville, North Carolina.
During that event, the crowd chanted "Send her back!" as Trump spoke about Ilhan Omar, who serves as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota. On Thursday's broadcast of the "Dan Le Batard Show," Le Batard used his platform to call attention to the "abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric," which is how Fox Sports 1 host, Nick Wright, described the President's actions on Wednesday night.
Says Le Batard, "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 the subject." He continued, "It is so wrong what the president of our country is doing, trying to go down getting reelected by dividing the masses at a time when the old white man, the old, rich white man feels oppressed being attacked by minorities."
Check out the full video clip below.
The full transcription of Le Batard's thoughts (h/t USA Today):
"So, what happened last night. This felt un-American. Basically, a chant, 'Send her back.' It's not the America that my parents came to get for us … 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. Then, here, all of the 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 the subject.
"What happened last night at this rally is deeply offensive. Done by the president of our country. … Nick Wright writes 'I don't talk politics on here, but this isn't political. This is abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric and not calling it out makes you complicit.' The 'send her back' chant and the 'go back to where you came from' are so antithetical to what we should be. It is so right what he (Wright) is saying there. It is so wrong what the president of our country is doing, trying to go down getting reelected by dividing the masses at a time when the old white man, the old, rich white man feels oppressed being attacked by minorities. Black people, brown people, women - that's who we're going after now. Black people, brown people, women - let's do it, as the platform.
"That's what you're seeing, and the only way we can discuss it around here - because this isn't about politics, it's about race - what you're seeing happening around here is about race being turned into politics. And we only talk about it around here when Steve Kerr or Popovich says something. 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 been a place where this stuff changes."