Fox News’ Laura Ingraham has issued a statement denying any “racial intent” in her remarks about LeBron James.
During an appearance on the “Uninterrupted” multimedia site with Kevin Durant and Cari Champion, James said that President Trump doesn’t “give a f*ck” about the people.
Ingraham said in a statement:
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 – false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, we stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case – the content was unaffiliated with ESPN.
On Friday night, LeBron James issued his own response to Ingraham on Instagram:
LeBron also tweeted photo of himself by the pool, in which he looked far from concerned:
LeBron’s like, ‘Laura who?’ pic.twitter.com/N9G8w5dlT2
— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) February 16, 2018
In Ingraham’s original commentary on Thursday night, the Fox News host called LeBron’s take “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical.”
Ingraham said, “I’m numb to this commentary. Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously. Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids. This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA.
“And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh and LeBron and Kevin? You’re great players but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself. Or as someone once said, shut up and dribble:”
— Thomas Bishop (@bishopk0s) February 16, 2018
Several pro athletes took shots at Ingraham and Fox News on Friday, including Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long. The two-time Super Bowl champion posted several pictures of actors and musicians appearing on Fox News, in an attempt to show the network’s hypocrisy for telling James to “shut up and dribble.”
However, it’s unknown if any of the celebrities Long posted had ever appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show. A highly relevant detail, considering that Ingraham doesn’t handle booking for the entire network.