LeBron James opined recently on the state of race relations in America and his view of the leadership in the White House, and he was taken to task for those stances by a Fox News host.
James replied Friday not with more words, but with posts on social media, after Fox News host Laura Ingraham said James should "keep the political commentary to yourself. Or as someone once said, 'Shut up and dribble.'"
The neon signage in James' Instagram post apparently adorns the UNINTERRUPTED's office space in Los Angeles. UNINTERRUPTED is the multimedia platform James launched for professional athletes in 2014.
On Twitter, James used the hashtag "wewillnotshutupanddribble."
James was speaking with ESPN's Cari Champion in a piece taped for UNINTERRUPTED in January. James and Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant got together with Champion to talk about this weekend's All-Star Game in Los Angeles and the political climate in the country from their perspectives. They also were both highly critical of President Donald Trump.
The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade defended James after Ingraham made her remarks. Durant, in an interview with USA Today, said Ingraham's comments were "racist" and that he received a lot of positive feedback about their conversation with Champion.
Durant told USA Today he and James have not talked about Ingraham's opinion.
"But like I said, we can't focus on that," he said. "Life is much bigger than an opinion, an ignorant comment from someone. It is what it is. I kind of feel sorry for her, because she's not looking through the lens of being free and what that's about. It feels bad that she doesn't know what we came from, or who we are personally."
On Saturday, Ingraham released a statement defending her comments.
"In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called 'Shut Up & Sing,' in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks and Barbara 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. ... 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."
Ingraham added, "We stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case -- the content was unaffiliated with ESPN."
James is expected to address the matter further during All-Star media availability Saturday.