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The question of “Why does anyone let LaVar Ball go on television anymore” came roaring back Monday when basketball’s loudest dad appeared on ESPN and quickly got himself into hot water with a gross comment to host Molly Qerim Rose.
After Qerim asked Ball to switch gears during an interview on ESPN’s “First Take,” Ball interjected in a suggestive manner with, “You can switch gears with me anytime.”
The remark drew condemnation from ESPN, which called it “completely inappropriate” and indicated it had told the 51-year-old Ball as much.
Qerim addressed the situation at the end of the show with a joke about calling HR. A day later, TMZ got some additional comments from Qerim.
Molly Qerim addresses latest LaVar Ball controversy
When asked if she had received an apology from Ball, Qerim deflected the question by noting her phone had been shut off.
“I haven’t heard from anybody, but to be honest with you, I shut my phone off after work,” Qerim said. “I was just in chill mode.”
Ball hasn’t released a public apology since his appearance, and odds are a private apology isn’t waiting for Qerim in her voicemail, given that Ball’s representative Denise White released a statement to TMZ claiming the comment wasn’t suggestive at all:
"[LaVar] was asked if he wanted to switch gears, in his mind switching gears was 'changing the subject anytime' and he said, 'yes, you can switch gears with me anytime.' At NO time was that intended or meant to be sexual in nature."
Qerim was asked if Ball should no longer be invited on ESPN, saying the decision was above her pay grade. She was also asked if her husband, ESPN analyst and former NBA star Jalen Rose, has responded to the situation.
“I think Jalen would have just liked if he had apologized to me publicly,” Qerim said. Rose probably isn’t alone there.
The interview ended with Qerim saying she was satisfied with ESPN’s support and the outcome of the situation.
“I’m satisfied. Yeah, 100 percent,” Qerim said. “ESPN was really supportive, and I appreciate that all the executives had my back. So, much appreciated.”
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