Dan Le Batard
|Dan Le Batard|
December 16, 1968 |
Jersey City, New Jersey
|Education||University of Miami|
|Employer||Miami Herald, 790 The Ticket, ESPN|
|Known for||sports radio host, sports television personality|
Dan Le Batard (born December 16, 1968) is an American newspaper sportswriter, radio host, and television reporter based in Miami, Florida. He is best known his work with ESPN, and for his work for his hometown paper, the Miami Herald, for which he has worked since 1990.
Le Batard hosts a daily radio show with Jon "Stugotz" Weiner that originates from WAXY in Miami and is carried nationally on ESPN Radio. He also hosts Highly Questionable, which airs daily on ESPN and was originally titled Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable; Le Batard co-hosts the program with his father Gonzalo and Bomani Jones. Additionally, he is a frequent contributor to several ESPN programs, serving as a regular replacement host for Pardon the Interruption when one of the regular hosts is out.
Dan Le Batard was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. His Cuban exiled parents, Gonzalo and Lourdes, moved the family to Central Islip, New York, before settling in Miramar, Florida. Dan's brother is Miami-based artist David Le Batard, professionally known as LEBO. Le Batard is also fluent in Spanish, which he learned because of his parents' heritage. During the 2016 exhibition MLB game in Cuba, Le Batard talked about how his family risked it all to come to the U.S. on his radio show. His surname is of French origin, meaning "the bastard".
Le Batard attended Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory, a blue ribbon school of excellence and furthered his education by graduating from the University of Miami in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and politics.
Le Batard began work at the Miami Herald in 1990 and is a columnist for its sports section. His first major work for The Herald was to investigate his former college's football team, breaking the Miami Hurricanes Football Team Pell Grant scandal.
In addition to his work for the Miami Herald, Le Batard hosts a morning radio show weekdays with Jon "Stugotz" Weiner on ESPN Radio. Le Batard is known for his self-deprecating humor, which carries over onto the show through running jokes. Le Batard grants very few interviews about his own life, but in a rare one he did with Aventura Business Monthly in Miami in March, 2011, he revealed that Tony Kornheiser, who began a long-running radio career of his own in 1992 on Washington D.C.-based WTEM, strongly encouraged him to embark on a career in the same medium, telling him: "It will link [you] to [your] community in a different way [from that of newspapers]. That it will be more intimate, more fun. It's not as lonely as writing. Writing is just you and a computer, and that it's not communal in any way. Radio is much more intimate."
Le Batard prides himself on being the "uncomfortable" sports journalist. He often writes about controversial topics, especially race. Guests on his radio program may be asked questions ranging from the racial undertones of the Michael Vick case to the effect that race has on how players are drafted into the NBA. After writing a column for The Herald on the former topic, Le Batard was featured on Fox News's Hannity & Colmes to discuss the issue. La Batard has also been known to state discredited or false information. On January 25, 2017, Le Batard falsely stated on the air that the New England Patriots had been caught "spying on practices". The story Le Batard alluded to was originally reported by John Tomase of the Boston Herald on February 2, 2008 but was quickly proven to be false and retracted with an apology by the Herald three days later. On August 20, 2015, ESPN also issued an apology to the Patriots for having referenced the discredited story in an on screen graphic.
Le Batard is a frequent contributor to many programs on the ESPN television network. Among others, he is a recurring guest on Outside the Lines, The Sports Reporters, and College GameDay. He is also a regular guest host of Pardon the Interruption, where he has been christened "The Hateable Dan Le Batard" due to his sometimes controversial (and usually contrarian) opinions, as well as his unorthodox attire. Hosting duties on PTI have allowed Le Batard the implementation of the catch-phrase "Bam!", which he exclaims in various ways at the beginning of each show he guest hosts. Le Batard has a joking rivalry with former PTI stat boy Tony Reali.
In September 2011, ESPN launched "Dan Le Batard Is ¿Highly Questionable?" (retitled "Highly Questionable" in 2013) on ESPN2 as part of the afternoon "Sports Talk Block." The show originally featured Le Batard and his father, Gonzalo, whom he calls "Papi." Bomani Jones later joined the show as a host in February 2013, accompanying Dan & "Papi" in discussing current sports news & event topics.
Baseball Hall of Fame controversy
In January 2014, it was revealed that Le Batard was the member of the BBWAA who gave his baseball Hall of Fame vote away to sports news site Deadspin. On January 9, 2014, the BBWAA imposed a one-year ban on Le Batard after learning that he did it because of his criticism over the BBWAA's voting process of selecting baseball players, especially concerning players involved in performance-enhancing drug scandals. Le Batard has spoken out against the "moralizing" of the voting. Le Batard was also forever stripped of his Hall of Fame voting privileges. His ESPN colleagues were mixed in their reactions, which ranged from support to condemnation, with some wondering why Le Batard did not use ESPN.com to conduct the vote. LeBatard regretted not delaying the revelation of his involvement with the vote, as it deflected attention away from the announced inductees. He also said he "had a blind spot" about the level his colleagues were hurt by Deadspin's involvement.
LeBron James Billboards
On August 7, 2014 Le Batard was suspended for two days from his duties at ESPN for allegedly taking out a billboard in Akron, Ohio which read "You're Welcome, Lebron. Love, Miami" and pictured two NBA championship rings. The billboard referred to LeBron James' departure from the Miami Heat and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. On August 11, 2014 Dan Le Batard addressed his two days off air was not because of the billboards, but because he was going to fly a plane banner with the (You're Welcome) banner at the homecoming of LeBron Friday (August 9) and do a live radio transmission to mock the homecoming.
- Richard Sandomir, In Havana, Rapprochement Through the Lens of ESPN, The New York Times, March 22, 2016.
- Colagrande, JJ (January 10, 2013). "Dan Le Batard Is Great for South Florida But He'd Never Admit It". Huffpost Miami. Huffington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- "South Florida's Best and Brightest: Dan Le Batard Q&A". Aventura Business Monthly. March 11, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- "Neal Boortz on Hannity & Colmes: Racial Concerns About Vick Case "May Be Part Of A Thug Culture."". News Hounds. August 28, 2007. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- "ESPN to Debut Two New Studio Shows: Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable and Numbers Never Lie" (Press release). ESPN. August 19, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Weinreich, Marc (January 8, 2014). "Dan Le Batard Revealed as Baseball HoF Voter Who Gave Deadspin His Ballot". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Baseball Writers Association Revokes Dan Le Batard's Hall Of Fame Vote from All Access (January 9, 2014)
- Lipsyte, Robert (January 17, 2014). "Lessons learned from Dan Le Batard caper". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014.
- "Dan Le Batard Trolls Lebron James and Cleveland Fans with Billboard in Akron". Bleacher Report. Turner. August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.