A sportscaster calls out his racist fans in a furious rant everyone should hear.

ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard became emotional reading Michael Bennett's harrowing account of his arrest by Las Vegas police for "simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Michael Bennett. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

What Le Batard read next made him furious.

During a commercial break on the Wednesday edition of his radio show, Le Batard said he received a stream of text messages from irate fans accusing Bennett of embellishing, or fabricating the story.


"Calling total BS on that story, video or lie," one text reportedly read.

"Don't believe this story. Back it up with a police report or an eyewitness," read another.

"Shut up fat face Leba-tard," another began. "I still haven't found the racists who spray painted LeBron's gate. This is all made up. Liberal sheep liar. Shut the [bleep] up.'"

In a righteous, five-minute response, Le Batard called out his listeners for reflexively doubting the Pro-Bowl defensive end.

The host rattled off a list of other athletes who have identified racism in their daily lives — including Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who reported racist taunts at Fenway Park, and NFL players attributing teams' refusal to sign Colin Kaepernick to the quarterback's national anthem protests last season — and the skeptical responses he's received from listeners.

"I'm just hurt by it man," Le Batard said. "'Prove to me that racism exists.' 'Adam Jones, you got called the n-word. Prove to me that you got called the n-word.' 'Colin Kaepernick, look at the starters in the NFL this week. Prove to me that he's blackballed.' 'Where's the proof?' 'Prove racism to me.' Well, how can I prove it to you if when Michael Bennett comes out and tells your story, you're gonna tell him, 'Not true.' How? How can I prove it to you if every time I come to you, you're gonna say, 'Fake news'?"

The ESPN host went on to express shock at the intensity of the blowback.

"The reaction was too strong," Le Batard said. "Man, who hurt you? Who hurt you? Because I know who hurt black people. It was white people." He speculated that black Americans and the police often feel threatened by one another — making rational discourse impossible.

A March Quinnipiac University poll found that 39% of white Americans believed that racism against whites was "very serious," compared to 66% of non-whites. ESPN's radio audience is 80% male, most between the ages of 25 and 52. Barrett Sports Media, a sports media consulting company, estimates that listeners skew 70-90% white across all stations.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Le Batard frequently analyzes the intersection of race and sports on air. The host has voiced support for Colin Kaepernick's activism and dismay that the quarterback remains unsigned by the NFL.

"He is good enough to be paid by that league and the only reason he's not paid by that league is because that league is run by cowards," Le Batard said on a July 19 edition of his radio show. "I shouldn’t say it’s the only reason. It’s one of the reasons."

The sportscaster also recently criticized Kaepernick for wearing a T-shirt with Fidel Castro's image on it. (Le Batard is Cuban-American.)

He concluded the monologue with an appeal to his listeners' empathy.

"You don't know what it's like to be on the end of those handcuffs for no reason," he said. "Because if you did, there's no way you would respond to that Michael Bennett story by calling BS and wanting to fight me for reading the story to you."

Five days a week, thousands tune in to listen to Le Batard. Now, he's asking them to listen to others whose experiences differ dramatically from their own.

Will they?

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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