ESPN’s Dan Le Batard on Magic Johnson Criticism: ‘Social Justice Warriors Are Eating Their Own’

“Now, I am in the middle of a storm where there are a lot of people laughing that I am in the middle of a racism controversy,” the “Highly Questionable” host says

Last Updated: February 24, 2017 @ 1:36 PM

This week’s announcement that Magic Johnson has been named team president for the Los Angeles Lakers sparked celebration from many long-suffering fans, but caused a division among some of ESPN’s top talent.

“Highly Questionable” host Dan Le Batard kicked off a firestorm when he criticized the five-time NBA champion’s ability to run the team, saying he only got the top job because “he’s famous and charming.”

Le Batard’s comments triggered an instant reaction, most notably from fellow ESPN host, Mike Wilbon, who blasted him on Twitter asking: “Did the electricity go out in LeBatard’s studio the last two decades to the point he can’t even acknowledge the vast successes?”

Never one to hold back his opinion, Le Batard attributed the angry responses to a America’s bigger race issue on ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on Friday, the New York Post reported.

“Now, I am in the middle of a storm where there are a lot of people laughing that I am in the middle of a racism controversy,” he said. “The social justice warriors are eating their own. I found it interesting what it became. It’s instructive to what happens in America now.”

While he was born in New Jersey, Le Batard’s parents are exiled Cubans, and his father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard (above left) has regularly appeared on his shows.

“Once that fuse got lit, it became an explosion all over ESPN,” he continued. “I found it fascinating to watch, as all the black voices on ESPN lined up, but only the black voices, as far as I can tell.”

One of those “black voices” was former NFL player and current ESPN analyst who said: “I can’t tolerate this dude! I can’t tolerate him saying these things about Magic Johnson because his facts are completely wrong … I’m going to read between the lines, I’m going to read between the lines on this one,” he said. “To me, he’s saying ‘because he’s a black dude,’ that’s the way I look at it.”

Le Batard also pointed out that critics should listen to the “whole show” as he “gave other reasons for it and it was a balanced discussion, but that’s the clip that played on ESPN all day.”

One reason Le Batard had initially given for his opinion of Magic’s qualifications to run Kobe Byrant’s former team was his Twitter comments over the years. “His Twitter account should disqualify him from the job,” he said. “We should have just done that. Can we do that? In fact, his Twitter account should host a late-night show. It would last longer than the 11 days his show did — ‘The Magic Hour.'”

Johnson is renown for praising NBA players via social media that have then gone on to be busts, or for the hiring of Phil Jackson as president of the New York Knicks, which isn’t working out too well either.

Of course, that ignited plenty of fiery responses — on Twitter.

See Wilbon’s tweets below.

A spokesperson for ESPN declined to comment on the matter.