Fox Sports 1 host Kristine Leahy, the target of LaVar Ball’s dismissive rant on her show with Colin Cowherd Wednesday, revealed Thursday the combative father wasn’t the only one to threaten her within 24 hours.
Leahy said she has received death threats since footage of the heated interaction — in which Ball told her to “stay in your lane” and that “something’s coming to you” — swept through the media world.
“For me this wasn’t a women issue. It wasn’t a racial issue. But it has turned into both,” Leahy said on Thursday’s edition of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”
The 30-year-old TV personality admitted she has approved of major sports networks’ decisions to invite Ball on their shows, such as ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith and FS1’s “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless. Nevertheless, after Wednesday’s episode, she now believes the outspoken father of top NBA draft prospect, Lonzo, should lose that privilege.
“I think the reason so many networks choose have him on is because he says a lot of controversial things. He’s loud and a big personality, which I’ve been totally fine with,” Leahy said. “But I hope that yesterday showed who he is and that we stop putting him on all these networks just to get controversial statements out of him because that is potentially what can happen. I think there’s no place for that in TV — no matter what kind of ratings you’re going to get.”
Leahy, who stood her ground when Ball mocked her voice and continued to shoot down her arguments, said she has nothing against his son and wishes the father would let the player do more of the talking.
“At this point, what I think about is I would love for Lonzo Ball to have whatever he can. I think about him in this situation. I want him to do well,” she said. “I hope that we stop letting his father talk so much and maybe allow Lonzo to talk. I would love to hear more from him. I would hope he’s successful. I think what LaVar is doing, I don’t think yesterday is going to help his son at all.”
Ball first lashed out at Leahy after she asked how many pairs of shoes he’d sold through his Big Baller Brand website, telling her to “leave me alone” because “she scares me” and reverting his attention to Cowherd to answer the question. When Cowherd reminded Ball that his co-host was a reporter too, Ball dismissed her again as a “hater” and laughed her off when she suggested he market his brand also to women.
“So you disrespect women and people for their weight?” Leahy asked after Ball included her colleague Jason Whitlock in his attack.
“If you act like that, guess what? Something’s coming to you,” Ball responded.
In a separate appearance on Whitlock’s “Speak For Yourself” Thursday afternoon, Leahy said Fox should consider rearranging the set of “The Herd” because, as it stands, she sits practically behind the guest who’s facing Cowherd.