Athletes defend LeBron James and accuse Fox News of hypocrisy after Laura Ingraham scolded him for talking politics

Gregory Shamus/Getty
  • LeBron James once again criticised President Donald Trump, saying he doesn’t “give a f— about the people” in a video published on Uninterrupted.
  • James had previously called the president a “bum.”
  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticised James for not sticking to sports, telling him to “shut up and dribble,” a reference to her book, “Shut Up & Sing.”
  • Numerous athletes took to social media to defend James, condemn Ingraham’s comments, and accuse Fox News of being hypocritical.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham was highly critical of LeBron James’ latest comments on political topics, criticising the NBA star for not sticking to sports, and saying he should “shut up and dribble.”

Ingraham’s comments came after James was critical of President Donald Trump during an interview with Kevin Durant and ESPN’s Cari Champion. During the video, which was published on Uninterrupted, James said Trump doesn’t “give a f— about the people.” James had previously called the president a “bum.”

“It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $US100 million a year to bounce a ball,” Ingraham said. She later concluded the segment by saying James and Durant should “shut up and dribble,” a reference to her book, “Shut Up & Sing.”

After Ingraham’s criticism, many athletes took to social media to criticise the Fox New host and accuse Fox New of taking a hypocritical stance.

Former NFL offensive lineman and current commentator Geoff Schwartz called Ingraham’s comments “ignorant” and suggested she was being a hypocrite.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long posted several tweets suggesting that Fox News was being hypocritical by telling athletes to stick to sports. Here is a sample of his tweets.

Dwyane Wade accused Ingraham of no longer hiding her “truths” under the encouragement of Trump. Many interpreted this as meaning Wade was accusing Ingraham of being racist, noting that she was not telling any white people to stick to sports, even when critical of the president, such as Steve Kerr.

Alejandro Bedoya of MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team also accused Fox News of being hypocritical.

New York Jets offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum criticised Ingraham for trying to suppress the perspective of black men.

NBA player Dahntay Jones called Ingraham’s comments “insane,” and called on Fox News to take action.

Josh Bynes of the Arizona Cardinals defended the rights of athletes to speak on political matters.

Ingraham issued a statement defending her use of the phrase, “shut up and dribble.”

“In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticised 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.”

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