ESPN reminds employees to avoid political talk after host blasts Trump: report

ESPN reminds employees to avoid political talk after host blasts Trump: report
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ESPN has reportedly sent a memo to employees reminding them to avoid discussing politics in light of talk show host Dan Le Batard's strong criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE

The Associated Press, citing an ESPN employee who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that the reminder was sent on Friday, a day after Le Batard voiced strong disdain over the "send her back" chants that targeted Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Woodward book revelations rock Washington MORE (D-Minn.) at a Trump rally in North Carolina. 


While offering his criticism, Le Batard also called out ESPN for its policy limiting on-air personalities from engaging in political discussion, saying it was "cowardly."

ESPN has not publicly addressed Le Batard's comment and whether he will face disciplinary action. The network declined a request for comment from The Hill. Le Batard declined to comment to the AP. 

Le Batard, whose parents are from Cuba, gained massive attention late last week after taking time out of his radio show to condemn Trump's rhetoric and the chant he presided over. 

“What happened last night, this felt un-American,” he said. “It's not the America that my parents aimed to get for us, for exiles, for brown people."

"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," Le Batard added, referencing the former ESPN host whose anti-Trump tweets led the network to adopt a policy asking employees to avoid political discussion unless it related to sports figures. 

Le Batard later described the “send her back” chants 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. 

Trump sparked an uproar last week after telling a group of minority congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — to "go back" to the "crime infested places" they came from.

The House responded by approving a resolution to condemn Trump's comments as a racist. Four GOP lawmakers, as well as Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), joined every Democrat in approving the resolution.  

Trump has adamantly stood by his remarks. But he said that he disagreed with the "send her back" chant that rally attendees led in North Carolina.