Everywhere LeBron James goes, he leaves a trail of tears and frustration in his wake. Sometimes, his scorned fans burn jerseys. And sometimes, they take out advertisements that get people suspended.
Dan Le Batard, a Miami-based columnist and ESPN sports talk-radio host, has been suspended two days for what ESPN termed a "stunt" involving a billboard seeking to get under the skin of James and his Ohio-based fans.
First he aired the possibility of buying an advertisement in two Ohio papers:
I would pay for this.... pic.twitter.com/bnHCguU3G4
— BANDWAGON HEAT LIFER (@itsleooo) July 29, 2014
When that failed, Le Batard got physical ... as in, a physical billboard in Akron:
— John Kosich (@KosichJohn) August 7, 2014
... and boom, that was enough to get Le Batard a two-day suspension from the mothership.
"Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday," ESPN told Yahoo Sports in a statement. "His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance."
It's the second high-profile ESPN suspension in two weeks, following Stephen A. Smith's time off for some unfortunate comments in the wake of the Ray Rice suspension news. You can debate whether Le Batard's actions were egregious enough to warrant a suspension; a cynical viewer might suggest that this suspension is as much about keeping LeBron happy as it is about keeping Le Batard in line.
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