An ESPN show host with more than a million listeners a month has apologized for asking whether it was funny that Jonathan Isaac, who became the first NBA star not to kneel before a game, had suffered an agonizing knee injury.
Dan Le Batard, who has previously clashed with NBA legend Magic Johnson and wrestler Diamond Dallas Page over remarks made on his wise-cracking daytime sports show, swiftly renounced a Twitter poll suggesting that light could be made of the horror injury sustained by Isaac at the weekend.
Ordained minister Isaac had become the first NBA player not to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign when he returned to action with Orlando Magic, and required a wheelchair to leave the court prematurely on Sunday after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage to his troublesome left knee.
“Is it funny that the guy who refused to kneel immediately blew out his left knee?”, asked the show’s routinely provocative Twitter account, which has almost 439,000 followers.
We apologize for this poll question. I said on the front and back end of the on-air conversation that I didn’t think it was funny. Regardless of the context, we missed the mark. We took the tweet down when we realized our mistake in how we posed the question to the audience. -Dan pic.twitter.com/iL5HtFm6gs
Someone with an ounce of self respect or human decency wouldn’t have allowed it in the first place.
As furious audiences urged broadcasters to drop Le Batard and a row broke out over “cancel culture” and political standpoints, the 51-year-old announced he was sorry for appearing to mock Isaac just two days after some of the 22-year-old’s teammates had been in tears after witnessing the popular forward suffer a recurrence of the injury that had kept him out since the start of the year.
“I said on the front and back end of the on-air conversation that I didn’t think it was funny,” insisted the journalist, who missed several days of his program and held showdown talks with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro last year after criticizing US President Donald Trump’s “go back” tweets about four minority congresswomen.
“Regardless of the context, we missed the mark. We took the tweet down when we realized our mistake in how we posed the question to the audience.”
Isaac said he did believe that black lives matter but felt that wearing a T-shirt of endorsement and kneeling did not go “hand in hand with supporting” the campaign, explaining that they were not personally “the answer” for him.
Cynics said his subsequent horror injury was “karma”, angering opponents of the pre-match gesture that has been slammed by Trump.
Wouldn’t it be funny if Le Batard lost his show, his livelihood, over this idiotic poll? Rhetorical question, of course not. Most of us don’t want someone 2 lose their livelihood. But that’s “cancel culture,” & this poll question was, in part, #CancelCulture#LiberalHypocrisy
F**k that. I agree with poll. I’m glad Jonathan Issac was not around with Malcolm X era, or Martin Luther King jr, or W.E.D. Du Bois, or Frederick Douglass. this new generation knows nothing about the different from a Momment than a Movement. It’s sacrifice! #BlackLivesMatter
Le Batard’s controversial take caused a fierce argument between fans on both sides of the political spectrum, with some claiming that the “cancel culture” they perceived as being favored by over-sensitive left-wing “snowflakes” should be applied to the show as punishment for the post.
Others turned on Isaac again after his divisive decision, arguing that the tables had been turned on those accusing social justice campaigners of having thin skin.
“F*ck that,” fired back a Democratic Party supporter, dismissing Le Batard’s apology while claiming that iconic activists including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King would have disagreed with Isaac.
“I agree with the poll. This new generation knows nothing about the difference between a moment and a movement. It’s sacrifice.”
I’m a comedian, trust me it’s funny. Inappropriate, disrespect, & dark but funny.
So many of us are so tired of this kind of capitalization of people’s pain. Are you happy he got hurt? Is that the point? You need to make it clear there’s irony for the rest of us? Great, so glad you made that obvious.
No, don’t apologize. It IS funny.Schadenfreude at its finest.If MAGA can’t appreciate the humor in it, that’s on their conscience….or lack of it.Remember—these folks found George Floyd’s murder both “hilarious” and “well-deserved”.
Another warned: “I love your show and I think you’re all good people.
“I just wish you would realize you are just like those far-right wing people, just on the opposite side. The show is hard to listen to when it gets political.”
One reponse suggested that supporters of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign lacked a sense of humor and had shown no empathy over the murder of George Floyd.
“No, don’t apologize,” they said. “It is funny. Schadenfreude at its finest.”
IT IS WELL!!! 2 Kings 4, read the chapter! Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns I’m encouraged. My knee may be hurt for now but my spirit is not broken!! Remember our God is not just a God of the hills but a God of the valleys! (2 Corinthians ch 4 vs 9!) MY COMEBACK WILL BE GREATER THAN MY SETBACK!!!! I STILL STAND IN JESUS NAME!!!! #MagicStillGoingAllTheWay
An unimpressed listener declared: “So many of us are so tired of this kind of capitalization of people’s pain.
“Are you happy he got hurt? Is that the point?”
Isaac told his Instagram following of more than 212,000 to read a chapter from the bible. “Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns,” he added.
“I’m encouraged. My knee may be hurt for now but my spirit is not broken. My comeback will be greater than my setback.”