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Lavar Ball stirs things up in the wrong way

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Plenty of people have had plenty of things to say about basketcopter dad Lavar Ball’s treatment of FS1’s Kristine Leahy during Wednesday’s edition of Colin Cowherd’s show. Here’s what I said on Twitter: All TV and radio stations should ban Lavar Ball, permanently.

Ball crossed the line. He was openly disrespectful to Leahy, with words and gestures that suggested sexism and misogyny.

Lavar Ball’s defense to the suggestion from Leahy of sexism was to say, “I’m married.” Which is a half-step  south of saying, “No one respects women more than me” and a half-step north of saying, “My mother was a woman.”

Don’t take my word for it, as if you ever would. The comments are available to be heard. The body language is available to be seen.

It all started when Leahy simply asked how many $495-a-pair Big Baller shoes have been sold. At that point, everything changed — Ball’s tone, his content, everything; Ball did not want to deal with her in any way.

Then, when the focus shifted back to the conversation with Cowherd, Ball’s demeanor shifted back to what it had been, without the animosity. Then, after Ball dismissed the opinions of Jason Whitlock by saying, “I don’t think he can comment on anything but snacks” and Leahy said, “So you disrespect women and people for their weight?,” Ball again flashed hostility toward Leahy.

The mood swung back to respectful until Leahy once again pointed out that Ball doesn’t respect women.

“I don’t respect women but I’m the one that’s married,” Ball scoffed. “She can say what she wants. I never disrespect women. But if you act like that, something’s coming to you.”

I’ve opted to address the issue in this space not because there’s a football connection (there isn’t; does it make it better that I admit it?) but because of a comment made by ESPN’s Jorge Sedano on Twitter in response to my suggestion that Ball should be banned from all radio and TV appearances.

“Interesting that a successful guy who created a few stirs himself back in the day & created something big out of nothing would say this,” Sedano said on Twitter.

It’s one thing to create a stir by expressing opinions others won’t. It’s quite another to create a stir by openly and blatantly disrespecting others, especially when directly interacting with them.

Besides, we still create stirs — largely based on offering fair criticism of the league, its policies and practices. Sometimes, the NFL disagrees with the criticism. Sometimes, the NFL disagrees strongly enough to complain directly to me about it, to those with whom I do business, or both. Through it all, I strive to always interact with the league in a respectful way.

Ball flashed on multiple occasions on Wednesday an unacceptable degree of disrespect in his interactions with Leahy. It got to the point where I was surprised that Cowherd didn’t admonish Ball, kick him off the set on the air, or at least throw to break early and return with Ball out of the building.

Regardless of how Cowherd and FS1 handled it (and chances are that Cowherd and FS1 loved every second of it), the point is that Ball should have no place on any future radio and TV show, based on how he treated Leahy. The point that resulted in this issue landing in this spot is that I strongly disagree with anyone who would compare the creation of a stir through the honest communication of authentic opinion and the creation of a stir by treating another person in an improper, inappropriate, and disrespectful way.

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45 Responses to “Lavar Ball stirs things up in the wrong way”
  1. livingthesteve says: May 18, 2017 11:50 AM

    I miss the days of PFT calling Len Pasquarelli “Pasta-belly”, personally.

  2. edukator4 says: May 18, 2017 11:52 AM

    she questioned his parenting ability previously on the air. you cant expect a man to come and treat you with respect if you are getting personal. maybe lavarr should have avoided the show altogether.

    in this interview she tried to stir up the situation by putting words in his mouth and inferring rather than hearing and discussing.

    he’s still ridiculous and I hope to never hear about him again though

  3. Stiller43 says: May 18, 2017 11:53 AM

    I don’t think what he did was sexist, he was just mean and disrespectful to someone who happens to be a woman. He didn’t do it BECAUSE she is a woman.

    It started because she said that she (like most women) wouldn’t want to be wearing something associating themselves with “big” or “big ballers” – which is very likely correct. Why he got his undies all up in a bunch over that is a mystery.

    But being rude and disrespectful to someone for no good reason doesn’t make you a racist or sexist, it makes you an a hole. If you do it because of their race/gender, etc., it certainly makes you an a hole AND a racist/sexist, etc.

  4. kcflake says: May 18, 2017 11:54 AM

    I can;t stand lavar ball, but Leahy isn’t blameless in this just cause she is a woman.

  5. dietrich43 says: May 18, 2017 11:54 AM

    Best thing to do is ignore Ball.

    I’ve said, the Lakers should pass on Lonzo. Old Man has made it clear that they only want to play for the Lakers. Pass on him. Let someone else draft him, be a huge pain in the ass, demand a trade, hold his breath til he gets it. Lakers then offer a ham sandwich in trade.

  6. ctiggs says: May 18, 2017 11:55 AM

    Part of me whats to say Lavar is an idiot, but part of me wants to say he is a genius that is playing us all. Look he is getting free advertisements and clicks from the masses. He is even getting mentioned on a football site. I do not blame him for standing up to big business and creating his own lane. (I’ve been trying to find a reasonable flight the past week and only presented a few options.)That’s called innovation. I do think his deliver is wrong. I also think that Leahy who dissed him last week ,but played the victim card yesterday was wrong as well. I would never buy any of his apparel, but nothing wrong with somebody creating their own lane. Even though he is clearly living through his kids, at least he is in their lives. Also, the whole family has been living pretty well off before any of this circus started.

  7. idealomni says: May 18, 2017 11:58 AM

    HIT PIECE/ PEACE!

  8. johnnybandwagon says: May 18, 2017 12:01 PM

    Good luck with that

  9. dawoger says: May 18, 2017 12:04 PM

    The “mothership’s” current demographic is the “baller” crowd. They’ll claim outrage at Ball’s comments and then remind you they have a link on their website for the “Big Baller Brand.”

  10. snowdood163 says: May 18, 2017 12:06 PM

    I can’t believe I agree with florio on something. Loser ball should be banned from any media coverage.

  11. vancouversportsbro says: May 18, 2017 12:08 PM

    This has nothing to do with football. And this guy is annoying, reminds me of Barry Sanders dad.

  12. baltimoresnativeson says: May 18, 2017 12:10 PM

    He used to annoy me but I’m starting to like this guy. Weird.

  13. joeknowsnada says: May 18, 2017 12:12 PM

    Ball is a clown, clown prince, actually. He “could” take the heat, but, it’s his kitchen, in his opinion, so stay out of it.

  14. granadafan says: May 18, 2017 12:16 PM

    The problem is, the more you ban him, the more he claims martyrdom. Media outlets have put him on every single show. Why? Because he’s controversial and polarizing, and that’s good for ratings. He loves it because it’s good for his (crappy) brand and the more “famous” he is, the more more suckers he gets to buy his crap because he’s a “celebrity”. In entertainment, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the Kardashians and how much stuff they sell and WHY they became famous. *hint: R Kelly.

  15. JameisWillTakeUsToThePromiseLand says: May 18, 2017 12:17 PM

    Not a lavar ball fan but he was definitely in the right with this situation. Regardless of being a man or a woman you don’t question someone’s parenting skills on national television. His direct response does not make him a mysoginist.

    She was trying to create that narrative because he hurt her feelings. Plain and simple.

  16. nflscouting says: May 18, 2017 12:18 PM

    The guy’s a tool, trying to capture any fame he feels he can squeeze out of his kid. Typical, if you know this character. “Look at me, look at me,” types usually end up with their asses in a sling. LaVar, you are nothing but a lather-on, trying to create your own “face” at the expense of your son. MAGIC-DO NOT DRAFT THE KID-FATHER IS CANCER

  17. Della Street says: May 18, 2017 12:19 PM

    Ball is a racist. And Cowherd is a coward.

    Lost respect for the both of them.

  18. terripet says: May 18, 2017 12:23 PM

    If his son goes to the lakers they should ban his father from being around the team only let him in for the games stop living through your son

  19. FinFan68 says: May 18, 2017 12:24 PM

    The guy is obviously a jerk but I think you are taking this way overboard. “He was openly disrespectful to Leahy, with words and gestures that suggested sexism and misogyny.” He was disrespectful but the actions in that interview were not generally sexist or misogynistic. He was disrespectful to a specific reporter who happens to be a woman. Climb down from that horse, take off the armor and sheath your sword. He is a jerk and he easily could be what you said but you can’t fairly get there from the data in that limited clip.

  20. cheeseheadbybirth says: May 18, 2017 12:24 PM

    Mike, I seem to remember Richard Sherman treating Skip Bayless “in an improper, inappropriate, and disrespectful way” even saying “I’m better at life than you” yet you like him and would never call for a media ban on him. Why the double standard?

  21. tjacks7 says: May 18, 2017 12:27 PM

    This guys 10 seconds ended months ago. Why anyone is still talking to or about him is beyond me.

  22. donbat67 says: May 18, 2017 12:30 PM

    Isn’t this clown’s 15 minutes up ? Just let him fade away .

  23. chuckshontaspads says: May 18, 2017 12:31 PM

    Thank god the Celtics got the number one pick, Ball is not our problem let Magic deal with this fool.

  24. usedjock says: May 18, 2017 12:43 PM

    dawoger says:
    May 18, 2017 12:04 PM

    The “mothership’s” current demographic is the “baller” crowd. They’ll claim outrage at Ball’s comments and then remind you they have a link on their website for the “Big Baller Brand.”

    You are correct and it is weird almost like ESPN is invested in his company.

    Anyhow, how come we are talking about him here? Lets get back to football.

  25. anarchopurplism says: May 18, 2017 12:43 PM

    Of course the woman makes his shoe brand about HER and HER preferences. Plus, he SHOULD market to women. What a stupid opinion.

    He was right to call her out on it, but it was a classic method-fail. He should have dismissed her matter-of-factly & said that its a small company, we think Big Baller speaks to that demographic. Then when the dummy took the bait, he could’ve turned it around on her & gone with the Black-guy, emotive-question thing, with: “Fo rea’? You sayin’ women can’t be ballaz! Child please. You got sumthin’ against women ballaz!?!?! I ain’t got time for that. You don’ understand.”

    Plus, my favorite: “As a woman….” she apparently speaks for all women, everywhere. How many WNBA women are going to wear these shoes?

    Morons…….more fake news & fake-outrage.

  26. whenwilliteverend says: May 18, 2017 12:49 PM

    If the Lakers draft his son, don’t be surprised if his dad says that part of any contract must include making him an assistant coach/wet nurse.

  27. stoneydog1000 says: May 18, 2017 12:52 PM

    Man, she’s really cute! (Or can I say that?)

  28. nathanp2013 says: May 18, 2017 12:55 PM

    Don’t create a stir in a disrespectful way… Jim Rome’s segment with Jim Everett would strongly disagree.

  29. boiler72 says: May 18, 2017 12:58 PM

    LOL, Lavar Ball. Another talent-less loser with a dream. I hope his kid is terrible in the NBA, he deserves it. All he does is brag about his basketball player breeding escapades. Who cares?

  30. Drunk Uncle says: May 18, 2017 1:06 PM

    All I see is a lot of ball-washing going on. Doesn’t matter if it’s ESPN, Fox, etc, they’re all just doing lots of ball washing by keeping this guy in the news.

  31. RegisHawk says: May 18, 2017 1:06 PM

    Typical reaction by this site…don’t like the opinion, get it removed.

  32. smitty113 says: May 18, 2017 1:08 PM

    Lavar Ball is a joke. He’s a soccer mom who should bring his son a juice box after every game. Good luck to his son being a leader of men in the locker room

  33. mojodoa says: May 18, 2017 1:09 PM

    Oh please, give it a break already. We know its a slow news cycle but this is rediculous. No one cares what Kristine Leahy has to say. She only got her job because of her looks.

  34. maestro1899 says: May 18, 2017 1:12 PM

    Why would you write a story about LaVar Ball? This has nothing to do with football, and the more publicity this bozo gets (good and bad), the better it is for him.

    It’s like the old marketing saying: No Publicity = Bad Publicity

  35. realfootballfan says: May 18, 2017 1:16 PM

    I like Ball because he’s just defending his boys, a bit overboard anyone could say, but that’s not a crime. If he wasn’t around for them, I’m sure everyone would have plenty to say about that whether it was true of him or not. As far as this goes with this young lady, it sounds like she tried to be adversarial with him when you’re the one who invited him on your show to be a guest, which is the first no no of interviewing and sounds like she got what was coming because of that, not because she was a woman. Howard Sterm would make a living off of skewering people for years on end at times, and when they would come in to be interviewed, he’d turn that off and find a common ground with the guest to get the best out of them for their sitdown. Sounds like she took the opposite approach and got justly treated for that rather than for her being a woman.

  36. redsoxu571 says: May 18, 2017 1:22 PM

    I can’t stand Mr. Ball, but his “disrespect” for Ms. Leahy didn’t come out of nowhere. There is an apparent history between the two, and she has clearly made it a mission of hers (perhaps a fair one) to be very critical of Ball, both in terms of business and parenting. What’s more, if you watch the ENTIRE segment, Leahy multiple time strongly infers what is today called “trigger warnings” in response to things that Ball said, even when the would-be trigger is tenuous at best. For example, he was completely right to be offended when his vague “snacks” comment about Jason Whitlock was spun into an attack on “weight” by Leahy.

    I personally wouldn’t act like such a child in response to these kinds of claims/attacks, but there is no doubt that she was not pulling any punches AND she was creating controversy herself where it was not, so she is not an innocent victim here. She stood up to the plate, as a good journalist should be willing to do, and so she needed to be prepared to received criticism and negative behavior in response.

  37. irishjugalo says: May 18, 2017 1:45 PM

    I’d take no issue with anything he or anyone else ever says if they’d just lead with, “With all due respect…”

  38. factschecker says: May 18, 2017 2:29 PM

    He’s a jerk. People will soon be rooting for the downfall of his kids careers just so he goes away. He’s hijacked his kids fame because he could never achieve fame on his own.

    He takes reliving your youth through your kids to a bad extreme. I can’t imagine a more selfish act as a parent than that.

  39. sdelmonte says: May 18, 2017 2:38 PM

    On the one hand, not about football.

    OTOH, worth saying. Over and over.

  40. davefromtheburgh says: May 18, 2017 2:55 PM

    I agree with the article’s sentiments. But I also don’t understand why a piece about LaVarr Ball is on this site.

    No one wants this site to become a cri de coeur for every justice issue out there. Nor do the authors need to show up and document that they’re on the ‘right side of history’ about every topic that crosses the wire.

    Sticking to sports isn’t what it’s all about. But sticking somewhat within the mission of what your site is purported to do is the minimum we can ask.

  41. amaf21 says: May 18, 2017 3:09 PM

    please stop white knighting. Kristine can take care of herself.

  42. bills9951 says: May 18, 2017 3:25 PM

    Wonder what Lonzo Balls thoughts are on this interview and his father’s agenda in general. Ok wanting ur child to succeed is one thing, Lonzo has. So step back and let the young man live his life. This is embarrassing.

  43. TheCakeIsALie says: May 18, 2017 3:35 PM

    Please make this happen. I do not need to hear from this man ever again.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone

  44. HankTheDog says: May 18, 2017 4:40 PM

    There is something so pathetic about a parent who tries to ride coattails on his child’s athletic success.

  45. iamedreed says: May 19, 2017 11:32 AM

    good guy mike florio here white knighting to save this poor defenseless girl!!!

    Sorry Kristine but you don’t get to disrespect someone’s brand and company without fear of retaliation. You play in the mud so don’t get mad when you’re shirt is dirty

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