In a video published Thursday for UNINTERRUPTED, a multimedia platform created by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and James discusses topics ranging from the pressures of being a top athlete, social injustice and the current climate in politics.
What stuck out to some was their current thoughts on President Donald Trump.
“The climate is hot,” James said. “The number one job in America, the appointed person is someone who doesn’t understand the people. And really don’t give a f*** about the people. When I was growing up, there was like three jobs that you looked to for inspiration or you felt like these were the people who could give me light. It was the president of the United States, it was whoever was the best in sports and then it was, like, whoever was the greatest musician at the time. You never thought you could be them, but you could grab inspiration from them. If there was a neighborhood African American cop, and he was cool as hell coming around, I felt like I could be him. I never felt like I could be the president of the United States, but I grabbed inspiration from that. At 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.”
Durant added, “When you’re talking about leadership and what’s going on in our country, it’s all about leadership. And I learned that playing basketball. I learned a lot of life skills from playing basketball. You need to encourage people and that’s what builds a great team, and I feel like our team as a country is not ran by a great coach.”
On Friday, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham sounded off on the two athletes on her Fox News show, The Ingraham Angle, saying that the athletes were not elected to political office, so they shouldn’t voice their political thoughts.
“Must they run their mouths like that?” Ingraham said. “Unfortunately, a lot of kids, and some adults, take these ignorant comments seriously.”
“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.”
Ingraham also mentioned James not having a college degree.
“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,” Ingraham said. “And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a $100 million a year to bounce a ball.”
Ingraham released the following statement:
“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,” Ingraham said. “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.”
Philadelphia Eagles lineman Chris Long posted a series of tweets in response to Ingraham.