- ESPN President John Skipper unexpectedly resigned on Monday, citing substance addiction.
- ESPN’s Dan Le Batard learned about the resignation on air and broke down in tears.
- Many have cited Skipper’s efforts to increase diversity at ESPN for why they have the careers they have.
John Skipper shocked many on Monday morning when he announced his resignation as president of ESPN, citing a long history of substance addiction and the desire to battle the problem.
ESPN and ESPN Radio host Dan Le Batard learned about the resignation while on air and broke down in tears.
“The president of ESPN has resigned and sent out a statement,” Le Batard said while fighting back tears. “I’m sorry. I just want to know that he is OK.”
Le Batard, like others at the network, said that Skipper is the reason he works for ESPN. Le Batard is the son of Cuban immigrants and many have pointed to Skipper’s efforts in recent years to increase diversity at the network.
“This is the reason I work here,” Le Batard said, later adding: “I know I look it and I sound like a fool right now, but I want you to understand something – and I don’t know what is coming, I haven’t talked to him, so I don’t know how he is doing, and I care about him – But just so that you understand, this person has created everything that exists here at ESPN for us. He did it because of how he cares about minorities and their causes. So every success that we’ve had – I didn’t want to work for ESPN, I wanted to work for this man.”
Fellow ESPN host Sarah Spain echoed those sentiments.
“John Skipper’s commitment to diversity & inclusion at ESPN has been not only inspiring, but comforting to those of us who want to believe things are headed in the right direction,” Spain wrote on Twitter. “Deeply saddened to hear of his resignation.”
You can hear Le Batard’s full comments here: