|Dan Le Batard|
The NY Post reports he can either kowtow to what he described as “cowardly” corporate policy, placing politics and President Donald Trump outside of his national sports radio show, or talk politics, risking his multi-million salary and one of the largest platforms in sports media.
According sportswriter Andrew Marchand, Le Batard positioned his top boss, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, as weak, making the criticism very personal without even mentioning Pitaro’s name. In Le Batard’s words, ESPN under Pitaro doesn’t have “the stomach for that fight” and is “cowardly” as it designates political talk for only sports-related conversations.
On Monday, he ws MIA entirely. Le Batard reportedly told ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro that he “was not in the right frame of mind” to do his show on Monday. He is supposedly going to return on Tuesday for his radio show. He is still doing his more formatted TV show full-time. Meanwhile, Le Batard’s TV show has been relegated on Mondays during the football season to ESPN2.
Regardless of what is going on behind the scenes, Pitaro still expects Le Batard to follow the rules, like everyone else at ESPN. It is a Disney company, and when you take its money, you are agreeing to be part of the Mickey Mouse club. They even call you a “Cast Member.”
While the topic of race in our country is obviously much more important than anything in sports, it is not why people tune into ESPN. Le Batard’s priorities may be different than ESPN’s. The network’s main goal is helping the Disney stock price.