Superstar athlete LeBron James has been known to not only express his inner thoughts on the hardwood, but also outside of packed arenas on issues that’s plaguing the nation. On an UNINTERRUPTED episode hosted by ESPN’s Cari Champion, James and fellow world-renowned athlete Kevin Durant discussed an array of topics that included Donald Trump.
“The number one job in America, the point of person is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really don’t give a f**k about the people,” James said. “…in this time right now with the president of the United States, it’s at a bad time and while we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us as this is not the way.”
As his comments made its trek across the Internet, Fox News host Laura Ingraham chimed in and essentially told James to stick to his day job. “Must they run their mouths like that?” Ingraham said, becoming worried that kids that look up to these athletes will become influenced by their opinions. She added that it’s “unwise” to soak in political statements from someone “who gets paid a hundred million dollars a year to bounce a ball.”
— Thomas Bishop (@bishopk0s) February 16, 2018
Ingraham then followed that up with not only telling James and Durant that they’re “great players,” but to “keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.” Shortly after that spiel, James used his social media platform to send a message to Ingraham, simply by creating the hashtag #wewillnotshutupanddribble.
Athletes have used their voices to speak out on injustice and police brutality across the country. Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick pledged his life to change social and racial circumstances for those that are disenfranchised or have been abandoned by the criminal justice system. He received support from other other public figures that also includes James and Durant.
Watch the full episode below.
Laura Ingraham has issued a statement to clarify her recent remarks:
“In 2003, I wrote a New York Timesbestseller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks & Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics. I’ve told Robert DeNiro to ‘Shut Up & Act,’ Jimmy Kimmel to ‘Shut Up & Make Us Laugh,’ and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich to ‘Shut up & Coach.’ If pro athletes and entertainers want to freelance as political pundits, then they should not be surprised when they’re called out for insulting politicians. There was no racial intent in my remarks – false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, we stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case – the content was unaffiliated with ESPN.”