ESPN Has 'No Plans' to Feature LaVar Ball After Comment to Molly Qerim RoseJune 20, 2019
ESPN is distancing itself from LaVar Ball after his inappropriate comment to Molly Qerim Rose on Monday's episode of First Take.
According to Richard Deitsch of Sportsnet, an ESPN spokesperson said, "We have no plans moving forward," with regard to featuring Ball on any of its platforms:
While interviewing Ball on Monday's episode of First Take, Qerim Rose requested they "switch gears" to a different topic, which led to Ball responding, "You can switch gears with me anytime."
Per AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today, ESPN later condemned Ball's comment, saying, "LaVar Ball's comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate, and we made him aware of that."
The 51-year-old Ball, who is the father of Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball, has a history of making controversial comments on television—specifically toward women.
During an appearance on FS1's The Herd in 2017, Ball told Kristine Leahy to "stay in your lane" when she asked about Big Baller Brand's marketing strategy. Ball also said that BBB was geared toward "big ballers" and not women.
The patriarch of the Ball family has been back in the news since Lonzo was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans last week as part of the trade that brought Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following the deal, LaVar said the Lakers would regret dealing Lonzo and that they wouldn't win another championship after doing so:
The Ball family's rise to prominence had much to do with Lonzo getting selected by L.A. with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft after starring in California during his high school career and then at UCLA collegiately.
Now that Lonzo is in one of the NBA's smallest markets in New Orleans, LaVar's presence may start to fade regardless of whether ESPN opts to utilize him moving forward.