Big Baller Brand chief LaVar Ball fires back after being accused of sexually charged quip to ESPN host

Businessman and media personality LaVar Ball fired back at critics who slammed him for allegedly making an “inappropriate” remark to a female ESPN host.

Ball was adamant that his remarks were not “sexual in nature” though he was quickly condemned by even ESPN for a comment he made during the network’s “First Take” on Monday.

Host Molly Qerim tried to rein in the head of the Big Baller Brand who was discussing the trade deal that involved Anthony Davis and his son, Lonzo Ball, who was sent from the L.A. Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans.

“LaVar, can I switch gears with you because I have a question here,” Querim said at one point during the segment.

“You can switch gears with me anytime,” Ball replied, causing the ESPN host to raise her eyebrows, and suggest, “let’s stay focused here.”

The segment set off an avalanche of backlash.

“Kudos to Molly [Qerim] for the professional way she handled LaVar Ball after his inappropriate comment. Maybe ESPN will have finally learned its lesson about putting him on TV,” former ESPN host and current writer for the Atlantic magazine, Jemele Hill, tweeted.

Ball did not appear to realize his choice of words could be construed by the thought police to mean something other than what he may have intended. And Querim did not draw any more attention to it after her wide-eyed facial expression.

However, she did seem to make a comment at the end of the show that could have alluded to the segment with Ball.

“If anyone’s calling HR today, it’s me,” she quipped.

ESPN called out Ball over his comment and said he was made “aware” of its inappropriateness.

“LaVar Ball’s comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate and we made him aware of that,” the statement read, according to Larry Brown Sports.

But Ball’s representative asserted that “at NO time” was his comment intended the way critics were claiming.

“[LaVar] was asked if he wanted to switch gears, in his mind switching gears was ‘changing the subject anytime’ and he said, ‘yes, you can switch gears with me anytime.’ At NO time was that intended or meant to be sexual in nature,” Denise White said in a statement, TMZ reported.

Hill’s Twitter feed read like a perfect example of how the debate unfolded on social media, with many countering the accusation against Barr.

Twitter users pushed back against Hill’s narrative, noting how Ball “wasn’t smirking or anything.”

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