icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
4 Aug, 2020 16:41

'That's cancel culture': Talkshow host accused of 'liberal hypocrisy' after backtracking on cruel poll about NBA star's BLM stance

'That's cancel culture': Talkshow host accused of 'liberal hypocrisy' after backtracking on cruel poll about NBA star's BLM stance

An ESPN show host with more than a million listeners a month has apologized for asking whether it was funny that Jonathan Isaac, who became the first NBA star not to kneel before a game, had suffered an agonizing knee injury.

Dan Le Batard, who has previously clashed with NBA legend Magic Johnson and wrestler Diamond Dallas Page over remarks made on his wise-cracking daytime sports show, swiftly renounced a Twitter poll suggesting that light could be made of the horror injury sustained by Isaac at the weekend.

Ordained minister Isaac had become the first NBA player not to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign when he returned to action with Orlando Magic, and required a wheelchair to leave the court prematurely on Sunday after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage to his troublesome left knee.

"Is it funny that the guy who refused to kneel immediately blew out his left knee?", asked the show's routinely provocative Twitter account, which has almost 439,000 followers.

As furious audiences urged broadcasters to drop Le Batard and a row broke out over "cancel culture" and political standpoints, the 51-year-old announced he was sorry for appearing to mock Isaac just two days after some of the 22-year-old's teammates had been in tears after witnessing the popular forward suffer a recurrence of the injury that had kept him out since the start of the year.

"I said on the front and back end of the on-air conversation that I didn’t think it was funny," insisted the journalist, who missed several days of his program and held showdown talks with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro last year after criticizing US President Donald Trump's "go back" tweets about four minority congresswomen.

"Regardless of the context, we missed the mark. We took the tweet down when we realized our mistake in how we posed the question to the audience."

Isaac said he did believe that black lives matter but felt that wearing a T-shirt of endorsement and kneeling did not go "hand in hand with supporting" the campaign, explaining that they were not personally "the answer" for him.

Cynics said his subsequent horror injury was "karma", angering opponents of the pre-match gesture that has been slammed by Trump.

Le Batard's controversial take caused a fierce argument between fans on both sides of the political spectrum, with some claiming that the "cancel culture" they perceived as being favored by over-sensitive left-wing "snowflakes" should be applied to the show as punishment for the post.

Others turned on Isaac again after his divisive decision, arguing that the tables had been turned on those accusing social justice campaigners of having thin skin.

"F*ck that," fired back a Democratic Party supporter, dismissing Le Batard's apology while claiming that iconic activists including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King would have disagreed with Isaac.

"I agree with the poll. This new generation knows nothing about the difference between a moment and a movement. It's sacrifice."

Another warned: "I love your show and I think you're all good people.

"I just wish you would realize you are just like those far-right wing people, just on the opposite side. The show is hard to listen to when it gets political."

One response suggested that supporters of Trump's 'Make America Great Again' campaign lacked a sense of humor and had shown no empathy over the murder of George Floyd.

"No, don’t apologize," they said. "It is funny. Schadenfreude at its finest."

An unimpressed listener declared: "So many of us are so tired of this kind of capitalization of people’s pain.

"Are you happy he got hurt? Is that the point?"

Isaac told his Instagram following of more than 212,000 to read a chapter from the bible. "Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns," he added.

"I’m encouraged. My knee may be hurt for now but my spirit is not broken. My comeback will be greater than my setback."

Also on rt.com 'Karma': NBA star who refused to kneel for BLM is cruelly TAUNTED as he exits in wheelchair with knee injury (VIDEO)