"Shut Up and Dribble" - The Herald: Opinion

"Shut Up and Dribble"

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Posted: Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:45 pm

LeBron James and Kevin Durant joined Cari Champion on an episode of Uninterrupted’s ‘Rolling with the Champion’ to discuss All-star Weekend, the pressures of being a top athlete, social injustice and the current climate in politics.

Thursday Laura Ingraham, the host of “The Ingraham Angle” which airs on Fox News fired back at the comments made by James and Durant by saying that both should keep the political commentary to themselves and just “shut up and dribble”.

In the episode of Uninterrupted, LeBron expressed that although he is a very wealthy professional athlete, he still experiences social injustice.

The three-time NBA champion mentioned that it doesn’t matter how much money he makes or has; he is still a black man living in America. He said he feels as though no matter how far you’ve progressed in society people will always try to figure out ways to remind you that you are beneath them.

Ingraham then referred to these comments as “barely intelligible and ungrammatical.”

“I’m a black man, with a bunch of money and having a crib in Brentwood and having the word ‘Nigger’ spray painted on my gate just means that I’m not too far removed,” James said.

However, the Cleveland Cavalier is never one to shy away from making political statements. He campaigned with Hillary Clinton, and last year he called President Trump a “bum” for feuding with NBA All-Star Stephen Curry.

But what most people outside of the NBA community (including Ingraham) fail to realize is that LeBron James is more than just a phenomenal athlete.

James is the recipient of numerous endorsement contracts including Nike, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Samsung and McDonalds.

As a result of James’ many endorsement deals, he is now listed as the second highest paid professional athlete behind soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo with an $8.6 million difference between the renowned athletes.

He has recently added Blaze Pizza to the pool of money he can pull from. With Blaze Pizza being his latest investment, he has seen a $175 million growth in development from the company.

The King plans to own a NBA team in the future, creating even more financial stability for he and his family. LeBron has capitalized on every opportunity to increase his income despite coming from humble beginnings.

Regardless of what political figures say about professional athletes, they are working men and women and, just like the average American, they have every right to speak about political and social issues.

Saying LeBron should just stick to dribbling a basketball is just like saying a McDonald’s cook to just “shut up and flip patties.”

LeBron responded Saturday by saying he definitely wouldn’t be silenced. He continued saying he means too much to the youth and he means too much to children who feel like they don’t have a way out.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he was proud of the way James handled the criticism and how he speaks out on social issues.

Laura Ingraham before you say LeBron shouldn’t speak on social issues make sure remember that he is also businessman, entrepreneur and an investor.

LeBron James is more than just an athlete.

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