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Former ESPN host Dan Le Batard says Endeavor did not comment on a video earlier this year of UFC president Dana White slapping his wife back because of an impending but now-completed merger with WWE.
Le Batard said Tuesday:
“Vince McMahon is back in power, and maybe you don’t care. Maybe you think it’s a small thing. But now you know why Endeavor didn’t comment on Dana White. Now you know.
“They couldn’t have two of them in a cage while the deal was being done. Because the deal wasn’t done yesterday. They couldn’t jeopardize the WWE deal. The $9 billion deal that now goes totally dirty, run by two kings who have no consequences for anything.”Dan Le Batard
Highlight: now you know why Endeavor didn’t comment on Dana White.
Fair. But do we know why Dan Le Batad didn’t comment on employing a wife-beater of his own?
Of course not.
For months, Le Batard has dedicated extensive airtime to White slapping his wife. He has criticized parent company Endeavor for not doing more. Yet never between outrages has he addressed his own staff at Meadowlark Media.
See, Le Batard employs a man called Howard Bryant. He promotes him heavily during his program. He speaks fondly of Bryant’s character.
Howard Bryant was the figure who posted an op-ed on Jan. 6 for the sports site ESPN.com for July 4, in which he declared the United States rotten, racist, and the land of injustices.
Howard Bryant is also a known beater of his wife. In 2011, he was arrested for choking his wife in public.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bryant assaulted her in front of his 6-year-old son. He was also charged with assaulting a police officer who arrived to protect his wife after he observed Bryant beating her.
(He initially blamed racism for his arrest before pleading the charges down to six months of probation.)
Quite a guy.
So one might ask how Le Batard can purport to be enraged over Dana White but also empower a man who — forget slapped — almost choked his wife to death?
How can Le Batard spend segment-after-segment berating Endeavor for not commenting on an employee slapping his wife, but simultaneously not comment on his own employee choking his?
We had hoped Le Batard could explain himself.
Unfortunately, he refuses to answer said question.
In January, OutKick sent Le Batard two emails asking for comment on his hypocritical coverage of Endeavor/Dana White. He did not respond to either inquiry. Nor did he answer a phone call requesting comment.
That leaves us to speculate.
Perhaps Le Batard does not actually concern himself with violence against women and only pretends for content.
Or perhaps Le Batard gives Bryant a pass as a career-long race-baiter, whose schtick includes baselessly declaring all black Americans victims of racism.
Perhaps Meadowlark employees are allowed to attack their wives so long as they share the same societal views as Le Batard.
Hard to say.
Worth watching is how Le Batard will continue to cover the WWE/UFC merger. Historically, he has invited fired ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani on the show to discuss combat sports. Yet the merger puts Helwani in a challenging position.
In January, Helwani got performatively emotional amid the Dana White video. But Helwani is also a stooge for White’s new business partner Vince McMahon.
Notably, Helwani buried rape allegations against McMahon in the first interview with a WWE official following McMahon’s scandal last summer. Helwani seems to have leveraged burying the scandal in exchange for a TV role with WWE in February.
Thereby difficult it will be for Le Batard to invite Helwani on the show to condemn Dana White for slapping his wife while also ignoring his partner Vince McMahon’s sexual assault scandal.
A pickle, indeed.
It would seem as if Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media is not the place for honest, uncompromised coverage of violence against women. Too many conflicts of interest on the topic.