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ESPN host Dan Le Batard tears into Trump, as well as his own network, for ‘cowardly’ no-politics policy


ESPN host Dan Le Batard tore into President Trump in the wake of the “send her back” chant that erupted from the audience at a recent campaign rally in an attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), while also blasting his own network for its “cowardly” policy limiting on-air personalities from engaging in political discussion. 

“What happened last night, this felt un-American,” Le Batard, whose parents are from Cuba, said on his radio show Thursday. 

{mosads}“It’s not the America that my parents aimed to get for us, for exiles, for brown people,” he continued. “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.” 

“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,” Le Batard added.

“Man, Muhammad Ali was fighting for this stuff in the ’60s! Bill Russell and Jim Brown are really old! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is old! These people who were fighting, the most powerful among us in sports who were fighting in the civil rights era for things — atrocities happening to black people that we’re still paying for now in a country where it was our greatest sin, what has happened to minorities in this country,” he continued.

“They’re old and dying! Jim Brown walks with a cane, man! He’s going to go to the grave with Colin Kaepernick still out of the league! 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!”

Le Batard then went on to describe the “send her back” chants made by the audience at Trump’s rally in North Carolina on Wednesday as “deeply offensive to me as somebody whose parents have made all the sacrifices to get to this country.” 

“’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.” 

Trump has been facing heat from both Republicans and Democrats for the the “send her back” chant.

Trump, who was already under fire over weekend tweets telling Omar and three other congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries, sought to distance himself from the controversy by disavowing the chants later on Thursday.

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump said.

When pressed about his failure to stop the chants, Trump said, “I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.” However, footage shows him allowing it to continue for several seconds before he continued his speech. 

The House voted along party lines this week to condemn Trump’s original tweets as racist. Four Republicans broke party ranks to join all Democrats in passing the measure.

On Friday, Trump denounced the “crazed” media coverage of his rally, saying he wished the “vile and disgusting statements” made by the progressive lawmakers got as much attention. 

Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar

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