Previously, we brought you the story of LaVar Ball and the controversial comments he made during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take TV program.
During the segment, in which the father of Los Angeles Laker turned New Orleans Pelican Lonzo Ball discussed his son’s future and claimed L.A. would never win another championship since trading him, Ball brandished his typical braggadocio self.
What raised the most eyebrows, however, was when host Molly Qerim Rose jumped in to change subjects during a panel-like back-and-forth between Ball and commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.
After Qerim Rose requested to “shift gears,” Ball responded with, “You can switch gears with me any time.”
The comment visibly caught Qerim Rose off guard. She would later joke she’d be getting a hold of HR after the show wrapped.
Shortly after the comment was made ESPN said they have no tolerance for any verbal misconduct on their platform.
"LaVar Ball's comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate," ESPN said in a statement to TMZ. "We made him aware of that."
The celebrity news outlet even caught up with Qerim Rose after the program aired and asked her about it. She says ESPN had her back on the matter. "ESPN was really supportive," Qerim Rose said. "All the executives had my back. Much appreciated."
ESPN is now reportedly banning LaVar Ball from appearing on any of their platforms, including TV and digital programs, among others.
According to Sports Illustrated, a network spokesperson said they have “no plans moving forward” to use Ball as an on-air guest, an on-the-record source for digital or a background source for ESPN.
A representative for Ball issued a statement to TMZ on Monday (June 17) and insisted his comment was "at NO time intended or meant to be sexual in nature."
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