Race relations in this country have degenerated so far that the race card now gets whipped out faster than Harvey Weinstein's privates. Case in point: after Fox News host Laura Ingraham advised NBA star LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” for criticizing President Trump, James and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors called her racist for doing so.
It began when James, who frequently slams Trump, made a podcast comment in which he claimed that Trump doesn’t “give a f*ck about the people.” This pushed Ingraham to respond on her Thursday show:
All right, we’re gonna create a new banner: ‘This is a dumb jock alert.’ NBA superstar Lebron James is talking politics again, and this time it’s R-rated. Here’s his barely intelligible — not to mention ungrammatical — take on President Trump in a new ESPN podcast.
I’m numb to this commentary, ‘like.’ Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously. Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids. This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh, and LeBron and Kevin, you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.
James himself responded, claiming to reporters that he had never heard of Ingraham:
“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 don’t even know her name.”
He went on to suggest that Ingraham, or at least Fox News, is racist: “Do I feel like her comments were racist? Well, listen, race is a part of our country, and we know that. I think the engine that she sits behind doesn’t have a great rap sheet when it comes to race in our country and things of that nature."
“It’s just sad to see people who think that way,” Durant added, according to Breitbart. "It’s weird. It’s not even a place where we should be as humans. To me, it was racist.”
Durant also noted, “I don’t play basketball 24 hours a day. I live in this world, just like everybody else. I don’t get what she’s saying, but I know what she’s trying to say.”
Ingraham issued a statement in response, pointing out that she has been telling celebrities in general to shut up and do their thing rather than wade into political commentary, which alienates fans:
In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller 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.