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Kristine Leahy on LaVar Ball: ‘Shame on CNN for putting the guy on’

Fox Sports’ Kristine Leahy on Monday criticized CNN for the decision to give LaVar Ball a forum amid his feud with President Donald Trump. Not only that, Leahy, who found herself embroiled earlier this year in a controversy involving the outspoken Ball, said the media deserves blame “[b]ecause we have created this whole monster.”

Leahy became ensnared in the Big Baller Brand hype machine after the elder Ball told her to “stay in your lane” during his appearance last May on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” a show she co-hosts.

“Shame on CNN for putting the guy on,” Leahy said of Ball’s appearance on CNN during Monday’s edition of “Speak for Yourself,” via the New York Post. “Honestly. Shame on everybody who keeps putting LaVar Ball on the air. Because we have created this whole monster. Has he not done enough things that are just repulsive that we need to continue talking about him and giving him a platform?”

Ball appeared on CNN in a 20-minute segment surrounding his feud with Trump stemming from the President’s disputed involvement in helping Ball’s son LiAngelo and two UCLA teammates get out of China in the midst of their shoplifting scandal. Trump asked for and received words of gratitude from the players, but the elder Ball declined to do so.

“That’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say, ‘Thank you’? And you’re the head of the U.S.? Come on,” Ball said during the interview. “There’s a lot of other things that’s going on. Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane.”

Leahy said Monday that providing Ball with a grander stage with more reach gives him exactly what he craves.

“What he’s continuing to say is it’s all about me, it’s [a] means to an end, we will do whatever we need to do, put out whatever bad message we need to put out, as long as we get the publicity, as long as my kids get to the Lakers, as long as LiAngelo’s in the news,” Leahy said.