'We know it's bigger than us': LeBron James expands on why he feels compelled to speak on social issues after criticism from Laura Ingraham

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
  • LeBron James elaborated on his response to Laura Ingraham on Saturday, making clear that he had no intention of following the Fox News anchor’s advice to “shut up and dribble.”
  • James discussed in detail why he feels compelled to speak out about issues of social justice, and how he planned to continue using his platform to help better the lives of others.
  • James also evoked the names of athletes from the past who had spoken out against injustice, adding that “We know it’s bigger than us.”

LeBron James elaborated on his response to Laura Ingraham during All-Star Weekend, after the Fox News anchor told the Cavaliers superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

James had taken to social media on Friday, posting an image that read “I am more than an athlete” and captioning his post with #wewillnotshutupanddribble.

While speaking with media on Saturday of All-Star Weekend, James responded even more directly to Ingraham’s comments.

“I will not just shut up and dribble,” James said. ” 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 added that he believed Ingraham’s response to his comments only made their necessity more apparent, and spoke about why he believed it was important to use his platform to speak out.

“It lets me know that everything I’ve been saying is correct for her to have that type of reaction,” James said. “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.”

James evoked the names of Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Jackie Robinson – all of whom were outspoken superstars that pushed forward political conversations.

“We know it’s bigger than us. It’s not about us,” James said. “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.”

You can watch some of James’ comments below.

The drama started when Ingraham devoted a segment of her show to criticising James for comments he made on a video published on Uninterrupted. In the video, James and fellow NBA All Star Kevin Durant spoke with ESPN’s Cari Champion about a range of subjects, including President Donald Trump and the current state of politics in the country.

“The No. 1 job in America, the point of person, is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really don’t give a f— about the people,” James said.

In her segment, Ingraham said, “It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $US100 million a year to bounce a ball.” She also suggested that James should be a “cautionary lesson” for kids who try to leave high school early.

Ingraham concluded the segment by saying James should stay out of political matters and instead, “Shut up and dribble,” a reference to her book, “Shut Up and Sing,” and a common construction she has used to criticise various people including actors, comedians, and athletes who make headlines for veering into the political realm.

On Saturday, James made clear he had no intention of taking her suggestion. He’ll lead Team LeBron into the All-Star game tomorrow.

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