ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard for LeBron James billboard


Dan Le Batard has never been one to weigh the potential consequences of his actions before going through with them, which is one of the reasons he is more entertaining than a lot of other sports radio personalities. It’s also the reason he was given a long weekend by his employer this week.

On Thursday, ESPN released a statement announcing that Le Batard has been suspended for two days because of the funny billboard he paid for in Akron mocking LeBron James.

“Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday,” the statement read. “His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”

I think everyone knows Le Batard’s publicity stunt does not reflect the views of ESPN, considering it was a joke that Le Batard and his father attached their names to. Le Batard even said earlier this week that it was all in good fun.

“It’s just fun anarchy. All meant in fun — which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison and irrational hostility and want to use those billboards as a guillotine,” he told Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “Sports are so great, the more irrational the better. This is a publicity stunt disguised as a movement. Please don’t tell anyone there is no actual movement.”

We know how protective of its image the World Wide Leader can be. But remember, Le Batard is the same guy who sacrificed his MLB Hall of Fame vote for life just to make a point. A two-day suspension won’t change him in any way.

Photo via @JeremyinAkron

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  • SpinMax

    just tow the company line or you get towed. espn hasn’t been cool in over a decade

  • Arsen Dadyan

    Watching ESPN now reminds me of watching wrestling back in the late 90’s. 2 name brands (ESPN/WWE) and long term companies who have aging announcers/talent/characters. Yet they are both soooo boring to watch, but they know that they both have no competition. ESPN has Fox Sports 1/2 as their “competition” but nobody watches that network unless it’s for a free UFC event. Fox Sports 1/2 is like WCW in the late 90’s…all of the talent from the WWF were jumping ships to the WCW back then and the same is true now with ESPN talent moving over to Fox Sports 1/2. Then you have CBS Sports/NBC Sports, which is like the minor league option…sort of like ECW. The problem is that everybody might be jumping ships, but FS1 isn’t increasing their ratings and most people don’t want to get out of their norm with watch ESPN and trying out the competition. FS1 is new and cool and interesting because it’s different, but that hasn’t related well to ratings and newer viewers. That’s what happened with WCW…talent jumping ships and being the new kid on the block is nice and interesting, but unless they do something different, it gets boring and old…very fast. WWE currently has 0 real competition so they can be as bland and boring as possible because they know that most likely the same core fans will be tuning in week after week.