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ESPN appeared to cut Dan Le Batard’s mic when he made a joke about Rob Gronkowski and ’69’

04.04.17 at 9:52 am ET

When ESPN’s Dan Le Batard made a joke on his radio show Monday about Rob Gronkowski’s obsession with the number “69,” listeners were met with dead air.

According to Le Batard’s staff, producers monitoring the Miami-based program in Bristol made the decision to dump the quip. This propelled Le Batard to rant against ESPN management.

“Really? Gronk’s making those kind of jokes all the time! I got dumped in Bristol for that?,” Le Batard asked. “Wait a minute! Does Gronk have more journalistic freedom than I do? It’s okay for Gronk to reference the number between 68 and 70, but not me?”

Le Batard’s brief diatribe was a rare “breaking down the fourth wall” moment on ESPN programming. Even though ESPN is a Disney-owned company, it’s surprising that mild innuendo apparently isn’t allowed on the network’s airwaves.

But in defense of management, few jokes are lamer than quips about Gronkowski and “69.” Maybe Le Batard’s bosses were doing him a favor when they scrubbed his line from the record.

(Video is from The Big Lead)

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