Dan Le Batard

Dan Le Batard believes in everyone getting second chances, especially in cases where they have paid in a way that’s “punitive” for their crimes or mistakes.

Before he commented on Fox Sports promoting Craig Carton on a recent episode of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the Meadowlark Media co-founder stated that his remarks were not primarily directed at Carton, who has acknowledged the mistakes that made him a prison number.

Carton spent a year in prison after he was arrested for securities and wire fraud in 2017. He’s been open about his failures and vices ever since. Carton was released from prison in 2020 and rejoined WFAN later that year to stabilize their afternoon show. Two years after rejoining WFAN, Carton landed a national TV show on FS1.

Now, he’s leaving WFAN in order to focus on his FS1 show.

“I want to make that clear on the front end that I don’t want to rip a guy who had a gambling problem, who is a convicted felon for having a gambling problem,” Le Batard said. “Addiction grabs human beings and can be difficult. But as it relates to our sorry sad sack, awful industry that employs people, who are largely interchangeable. The idea that Fox would give a convicted felon a promotion when that opportunity would never go in my history doing this, to somebody who isn’t white is such an indictment of everything around me, that I find it deeply offensive about our industry.”

It’s worth noting that Le Batard was pretty pissed when he found out back in February that Carton had a show on FS1.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said at the time. “The man went to jail! The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Le Batard continued to hammer home the point that so many in the industry are largely interchangeable on really any platform. Including Carton, who recently made some comments downplaying the greatness of Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.

‘What an indictment of our industry at large, honestly that, that is something that is happening when we’re all really disposable,” Le Batard said. “And the idea that someone would have that kind of an offer to remake their career, it’s stupefying. It’s just not something that would happen in many other places. And it’s not something certainly that would happen when somebody was a convicted felon and not a white person. It’s just not anything that would have any precedent in this business.”

“I don’t know if it bothers the audience at large, but it just speaks so ill of what is our industry.”

Le Batard likes comeback stories and he likes forgiveness but wanted to make the larger point that this isn’t about Carton, but rather a reflection on the sports media industry as a whole.

“You can just make him an avatar,” Le Batard said. “You can just make him a symbol. I’m not talking about him. Just convicted felon X being able to climb back up the ladder.”

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugoz] Image from LeBatardShow

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.