Shut up and dribble
Shut up and throw the ball
Shut up and stand for the anthem
Shut up and honor our flag
Shut up and keep your hands on the wheel
Shut up and pick the cotton
Shut up and go through the back door
Shut up and sit in the back of the bus
Shut up and stay in your own neighborhoods
Shut up and go back to your country
Shut up and speak English
Shut up and whatever you do
Don’t speak up about oppression
Don’t speak up about politics
Don’t use your platform to benefit anyone but yourself
Lebron James and Kevin Durant took a ride in ESPN host, Cari Champion’s, Uber last month and engaged in thoughtful and insightful dialogue about growing up without their fathers, manhood, basketball, and politics. When the conversation shifted to Lebron’s criticisms of Trump, he had this to say.
The climate is hot. The number one job in America, the appointed person is someone who doesn’t understand the people. And really don’t give a (expletive) 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.
Kevin 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.
The video of Kevin and Lebron’s uber ride lasted about 16 minutes and covered a variety of topics. But Fox News Host Laura Ingraham took offense to their criticism of the president and thought it best to put them in their places:
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 a hundred million dollars 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.,
This type of rebuttal is nothing new, from Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, the Syracuse 9 to Colin Kaepernick. Black athletes have used their voices, influences, and platform to speak out against racism and injustice only to be told to stick to what they are paid to do and nothing else.
So, it begs these questions, “Who has the right to criticize the president, or more specifically, who has the right to use their voices and platform to help those who are less fortunate? What happens when people with a platform and influence do nothing to shed light on injustice?”