On Thursday, Lebron James appeared with Kevin Durant on YouTube‘s ‘The Uninterrupted’ in order to promote his upcoming appearance at All-Star Weekend. During the segment, James and Durant talked about youth sports, parenting, and life as prominent African-Americans. They also briefly talked about the current state of US politics, and Lebron said this [via USA Today]:
“The number one job in America … is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really doesn’t give a fuck about the people… This time right now, with the president of the United States, it’s at a bad time. And while we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us, (that) this is not the way.”
Predictably, that set off some conservative talk-show hosts, like Fox Sports JT & Looney and Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham. Ingraham actually landed in hot-water after saying James should “shut up and dribble”, a comment that many people saw as racially motivated.
“In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticized 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.”
However, the most impressive response came from 2-time Super Bowl winner Chris Long, who pointed out that FOX News clearly only has a problem with entertainers talking politics if they disagree with them. Long showcase that phenomenon in a very long and amusing Twitter thread (click for full link):