Dan Le Batard, the ESPN radio and television host, was booted off the air for two days by the network Thursday for playing a brilliant joke it apparently deemed as unbecoming of a quasi-journalist.
The Miami-based Le Batard, an entertaining radio host who made his name as a superb columnist for the Miami Herald, bought a billboard in LeBron James’s hometown of Akron, Ohio, that read: “You’re welcome, LeBron. Love, Miami.” Pictured were two championship rings, the number James won during his four years with the Heat before returning to Cleveland last month.
A statement announcing the ban — ESPN never used the word “suspension,” for some reason — said this: “Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday. His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”
Were not made aware of his plans in advance? Curious wording there. I say this facetiously, but it almost sounds as if ESPN was upset that it wasn’t let in on the joke.
Chad Finn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn.