Fox News host Laura Ingraham went after basketball superstar LeBron James, admonishing him to “shut up and dribble and leave political comments to people who didn’t leave high school a year early,” after NBA superstar expressed a political opinion on Donald Trump.
James has often spoken on politics and social issues. Though he is primarily known as a NBA player, James has been involved in several business ventures and has a foundation. Ingraham was upset he Kevin Durant expressed their views on the President.
Ingraham’s words were reminiscent of President Trump’s attack on NFL football players taking a knee in protest of the national anthem to spotlight the issue of police brutality. In September 2017, Trump accused NFL players of “total disrespect.” On October 23, Trump tweeted, “Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country.”
LeBron James initially responded with an Instagram post that contained a photo with the words “I am more than an athlete” and a caption including the hashtag #wewillnotshutupanddribble.
On February 17, LeBron James affirmed he be doing much more than dribbling a basketball, and will speak on “what’s really important.”
“I will not just shut up and dribble… so, thank you, whatever her name is… I get to sit up here and talk about what’s really important and how I can help change kids,” James said.
During an interview before a practice for the NBA All Star game, James continued.
“It lets me know that everything I’ve been saying is correct for her to have that type of reaction. But we will definitely not shut up and dribble. I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society, I mean too much to the youth, I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don’t have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they’re in… We know it’s bigger than us. It’s not about us. I’m going to continue to do what I have to do to play this game that I love to play, but this is bigger than me playing the game of basketball,” James concluded.
“None of these racist, spoiled milk reporters have ever spoken on Steve Kerr or Gregg Popovich, and you know why. Forget for a moment the accomplishments that LeBron James has on the court. Off the court he is one of the most successful businessmen in the NBA. He has not just put himself on, but also his entire team is about black empowerment,” wrote Black Sports Online creator Robert Littal.
Ingraham’s “shut up and entertain me” sentiment is not new. Neither is the glaring double standard seen in Ingraham’s pronouncement against James.
Chris Long, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles who is son of former Oakland Raider and broadcaster Howie Long, offered a clear response to that. Long sent a series of photos of entertainers, singers and actors, who have appeared on Fox News and spoken on politics.
The series of photos included Kid Rock, Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, Curt Schilling, Victoria Jackson and a star from Duck Dynasty.