ESPN’s Dan Le Batard made headlines this week for the way WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page blew up on him, calling him a “monkey” and telling him to “fuck off,” but that’s far from the first high-profile feud we’ve seen on Le Batard’s show over the years. Here’s a recap of some of the more notable ones:
Yep, earlier this month actor Michael Rapaport devoted a full 42-minute episode of his own podcast to bashing Le Batard (in relation to a Twitter fight with Le Batard and Le Batard’s producers that broke out over Rapoport bashing Le Batard’s criticisms of the Lakers hiring Magic Johnson as GM), calling him a “twinkie-eating fuckboy” and so on. Those Johnson criticisms also led to Le Batard being blasted by ESPN LA’s Keyshawn Johnson and Mychal Thompson, who accused him of racism.
Le Batard also bashed former coworker Skip Bayless (a previous target) in January. In that same month, he went after ESPN colleague Sage Steele over her Instagram post about airport protests. He fought with local radio management over a mangled penis story (seriously) last November, and even blasted ESPN as a whole for giving John Calipari “a free recruiting platform” last June.
Also last year, Le Batard tried to rile up Mike Francesa (who he’s also gone after since) in May, and got into a week-long feud with Shaq in April (by criticizing the NBA Hall of Famer’s leadership skills), which led to Shaq saying Le Batard’s show would be off ESPN by next year. (That hasn’t happened yet, obviously.) Le Batard also criticized President Obama and ESPN over baseball in Cuba last March.
In October 2014, Le Batard feuded with then-ESPN colleague Colin Cowherd over differing takes on LeBron James. Remember, earlier that year, Le Batard got suspended from ESPN for trying to troll LeBron with a billboard). And in January 2014, Pardon The Interruption‘s Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon went after Le Batard for selling his Baseball Hall of Fame ballot to Deadspin.
Going back even further, Le Batard’s had quite the running feud with UFC fighter Chael Sonnen (see the 2012 and 2013 entries). His 2008 fight with Jay Bilas is legendary, too. And there surely are others we’ve missed here.
Le Batard certainly isn’t afraid to mix it up with big names, and he definitely doesn’t tone down his opinions to keep anyone happy. He’s often willing to get into it with his show’s guests, too, which has led to on-show incidents like the ones with Page and Bilas. However, that seems to be working okay for him so far.
Le Batard’s radio show offers a very different take on sports radio than you usually find, and it’s won significant praise from our Alex Kaufman and Michael Grant. His TV show (Highly Questionable) has also received critical praise, and Le Batard seems to have a strong following of fans on radio, TV and social media. So, his approach seems to be paying off pretty decently. And if it leads to some feuds here and there, those certainly haven’t seemed to hurt him so far. They definitely make for good entertainment, too.