ESPN suspended radio talk-show host Dan Le Batard for two days after he paid for billboards in Akron, Ohio, that mocked LeBron James' return to Cleveland from a successful four-year run in Miami.
The billboard displayed two championship rings emblematic of the NBA titles won with the Heat and read, "You're Welcome, LeBron; Love, Miami". James, who announced last month that he was going home to play for the Cavaliers, grew up in Akron and still lives in the area.
ESPN was not amused and apparently surprised by the billboard.
"Dan LeBatard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement Thursday. "His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN's standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance."
Le Batard had said the driving force for the billboard was the absense of a thank you from James to Heat fans after he left for Cleveland.
"It's just fun anarchy," LeBatard said on a recent ESPN radio show. "All meant in fun -- which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison and irrational hostility and want to use those billboards as a guillotine.
"Sports are so great, the more irrational the better. This is a publicity stunt disguised as a movement. Please don't tell anyone there is no actual movement."
Le Batard also is a host on ESPN2's "Highly Questionable." He was banned by the Baseball Writers' Association of America last year when he sold his Hall of Fame ballot to Deadspin.
Le Batard's suspension was the second at ESPN in the past two weeks. Stephen A. Smith was taken off the air for a week because of his comments about domestic violence while discussing the NFL's two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.