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LeBron James has never been shy about his opposition to President Donald Trump. Now, he’s got a new opponent in right-wing talk-show host Laura Ingraham, and on Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers star dunked all over her, too.
James and fellow NBA star Kevin Durant spoke about Trump on an ESPN Uninterrupted video with James bluntly saying, “The No. 1 job in America, the point of person, is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really don’t give a fuck about the people.” Previously, James had called Trump a “bum” and said he wouldn’t let the president’s rhetoric divide the country.
So, conservatives already had a reason to be mad at James, and apparently, Ingraham was exactly that, directing this remark at him on her Fox News show on Thursday, chiding him for leaving high school early and telling him to “shut up and dribble.”
Here’s what they think about you ::Ice Cube voice:: pic.twitter.com/psk0qWr99W— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 16, 2018
Here’s how James responded to that suggestion.
Notice the #wewillnotshutupanddribble hashtag—Twitter users seemed to love that.
I’ve hated on you for years I’m a diehard Kobe fan and sir you have my respect not only as an athlete but also as a man of color and a leader to our youth #wewillnotshutupanddribble https://t.co/9LPQiTygZx— BattlerapCope (@Fgsound203) February 17, 2018
I want my fellow Americans to have opinions, to express opinions and to use the platform they have to bring value to America. I do not want my politicians to be bought by @NRA. Thank you @KingJames, a good man speaking truth is never wrong! #wewillnotshutupanddribble https://t.co/uEpG5yl2DE— Rhonda Jo (@knatrel75) February 17, 2018
Apparently, Ingraham wants to continue the conversation.
Hey King, Come play on my Court next week. You’re invited on the show anytime. https://t.co/CpXRl5jGzQ— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 17, 2018
It’s unlikely he’ll accept that offer. He’s probably too busy dunking on those who criticize him for using his fame to speak his truth.
Update 11:59am CT, Feb. 18: Laura Ingraham has issued a statement clarifying the source of her “shut up and dribble” comment. After publishing a book titled Shut Up & Sing in 2003, she’s returned to the construction several times when addressing politically active celebrities, including Jimmy Kimmel (“shut up and make us laugh”), Robert DeNiro (“shut up and act”), and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (“shut up and 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,” Ingraham said in her statement. “There was no racial intent in my remarks.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.