Desmond Howard learned a new rule in 2019 -- you can't quote Dave Chappelle as much as we used to ... especially on a Disney-owned network, at a Disney-owned park.
The former Heisman winner and NFL kick returner -- who's since become a TV analyst -- was on ESPN Saturday talkin' college football with Rece Davis and other broadcasters ... when he invoked a line from an old "Chappelle's Show" skit that caught immediate backlash.
The line -- in response to Rece asking if his alma mater, University of Michigan, could beat Ohio State -- went like this ... "Is Desmond Howard gonna have to choke a bitch?"
Funny, right? WRONG!!! At least that's what a ton of people watching had to say about it soon after. And, apparently, the ESPN honchos thought so too ... 'cause Des apologized.
He came back on the air later and flat-out said sorry if he offended anybody.
Des also tweeted about the incident, saying he didn't realize the joke was so obscure. Of course, he's referring to the line Wayne Brady dropped on a classic 'CS' episode, when he poses the same question to a prostitute during a 'Training Day'-esqe sketch.
Des later posted a clip that aired on ESPN in 2014, in which a commentator also made reference to the famous line. Problem is ... it's 2019, not 2014 -- and definitely not 2004. Also, Des works for ESPN (which Disney owns) and he said this at Disney World. Bad mix!!!
To make matters even more murky, Wayne Brady himself responded to the incident, showing support to Des and thanking him for the fandom. But, Wayne also said, "Choke who you wanna choke, have fun, and I'm a big fan of yours too." That raised eyebrows as well.