LeBron James shares powerful message amid Laura Ingraham backlash
LeBron James on Thursday night posted a powerful, text-only commentary reacting to the “stick to sports” narrative while explaining why professional athletes must continue to use their platforms to speak out against injustice and other societal issues.
Inspired by FOX News personality Laura Ingraham controversially telling James and other NBA players to “shut up and dribble” in 2018, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s Instagram post is a solemn and sobering explanation why he refuses to stay silent.
With the sound of a basketball being dribbled, each contact with the court relays a message that plays off Ingraham’s infamous commentary, including “shut up and stand,” “shut up and get paid” and “shut up and just do your job.”
The messages than segue into lines that highlight the experiences of people of color when confronted by law enforcement, with “shut up do you live around here,” “shut up and put your hands up,” “shut up and don’t move,” “shut up and get on the ground” before closing with “shut up and lay still” blinking repeatedly as the ball ceases to bounce.
Ingraham was widely criticized this week by some of the NBA’s biggest names and elsewhere over how she defended Drew Brees amid the backlash to his polarizing commentary about player protests during the national anthem.
The criticism stemmed from how Ingraham blasted James and other NBA players in 2018 for speaking out on political issues, specifically for how James stated that President Donald Trump “really don’t give a f— about the people” during a joint interview with Kevin Durant.
Those slamming Ingraham’s defense of Brees — who has since publicly apologized twice, though some have said both missed the mark — were quick to point out the hypocrisy of her remarks.
On “The Ingraham Angle,” the host stated that the pushback to the New Orleans Saints quarterback’s comments amounted to “totalitarian conduct” and “Stalinist” behavior. Given what she said about him two years ago, James took to Twitter to respond.
In a tweet that included video of Ingraham’s disparate remarks, James writes that these kind of instances help explain why he and other athletes of color are “simply F-N tired of this treatment.”
If you still haven’t figured out why the protesting is going on. Why we’re acting as we are is because we are simply F-N tired of this treatment right here! Can we break it down for you any simpler than this right here???? . And to my people don’t worry I won’t stop until I see https://t.co/e4pJ0PvwJj— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 4, 2020
James has of course been among the most outspoken athletes during his career when it comes to addressing issues involving race and inequality. This unsurprisingly has made him a target of criticism from those who disagree with his stances.
However, that has never bothered the Lakers superstar, nor has it changed his approach to activism and being an outspoken advocate calling for social change.