Dan Le Batard Offers Impassioned Defense of John Skipper in Jemele Hill Situation

Dan Le Batard Offers Impassioned Defense of John Skipper in Jemele Hill Situation


Dan Le Batard Offers Impassioned Defense of John Skipper in Jemele Hill Situation

Dan Le Batard, for the second straight day, addressed Jemele Hill’s tweets about Donald Trump, and the response of both ESPN and the public at large. ESPN was between a rock and a hard place because no matter what they did, half of the country would be mad. In trying to split the baby, both sides of the gulf wound up profoundly dissatisfied.

The whole thing is worth watching, but here is a transcription of the last two minutes of the segment:

I admire Jemele Hill so much. Bomani Jones was quoted — there’s a good piece in The Ringer on her — she’s got it worse than anyone. Black woman, what she gets hit with, in this world, is really bad. And I support her. That’s my friend. I support her work. But I don’t want to be in positions where I sit here looking like I’m creating a mutiny against the President of this company [John Skipper] by supporting a colleague when I know what the President of this company stands for.

And I know what he’s trying to achieve. And it’s not nefarious. It is good, and it is pure. Man, he started The Undefeated, and he didn’t have to do that! He just started a website so there would be a space — that’s not a place where there is gonna be a monster profit for this company. And he started that because of what he thought of the importance of it. And he hired a conservative, Jason Whitlock, to run it, and it got botched. But it wasn’t because the intent wasn’t pure. And now it’s something else.

He concluded:

But anyways, I just don’t know what you do. Nevermind the sides being taken on this. If I just put it in front of you and I say what are you supposed to do with the gulf, when black people are saying, ‘You can’t even talk to Jemele Hill about [those tweets], leave her alone! Look at what’s happening in this country! The President is behaving with actions that a lot of people are questioning along racial lines,’ and you’re saying to leave her alone. I get it.

And then on the other side, you’re saying, ‘Man, if you’re gonna discipline other people on this stuff, you gotta be consistent and FIRE Jemele Hill.’ That feels unreasonable to me, the way that we’re always firing people about this stuff. But, if that’s the gulf — you gotta fire her! you can’t even talk to her! — what are you supposed to do?

In the next segment, Dan read aloud from this piece in the New Yorker about how ESPN can’t win, while his staff, between paragraphs, suggested random celebrities who would be money-making spectacles if they made cameos in Minor League Baseball.

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