In a Fox Sports 1 video essay for “Speak for Yourself,” Jason Whitlock responded to Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James likening himself to iconic boxer Muhammad Ali during his feud with Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham over her telling him to “shut up and dribble” instead of speaking out on politics.
“I don’t think Muhammad Ali tried to get a reward for [speaking on social issues]. I don’t think Jim Brown or Bill Russell or Jackie Robinson, and the list goes on, tried to get a reward for it,” James said Saturday.
Whitlock called James’s comparison “laughable” and “foolish,” adding the superstar needs to engage with his critics the way icons Muhammad Ali, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X all did if he “truly wants to be a powerful voice on social issues.”
“It cheapens the boldness and the courage it takes to truly compete in the marketplace of intellectual ideas,” said Whitlock.
“LeBron James is well-intentioned, but if he truly wants to be a powerful voice on social issues, he needs to have his sharpened by competing in the marketplace of ideas,” he continued. “Or he can remain blind to the simple things he clearly doesn’t know.”
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent