Laura Ingraham of Fox News told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” after James delivered scathing criticism of President Donald Trump. James’ avenue of delivering that message was a video interview alongside Kevin Durant and Cari Champion for Uber and UNINTERRUPTED, and given Durant’s presence, it makes sense that he would be prompted to respond after what became a nationwide story.
On cue, Durant spoke with Sam Amick of USA Today, and in addition to referring to Ingraham’s on-air comments as “racist,” he shed more light on how he felt. When asked about his feelings on the opinions expressed by Ingraham, Durant said the following:
“It didn’t hit me. Ignorance is something I try to ignore. That was definitely an ignorant comment. I do play basketball, but I am a civilian and I am a citizen of the United States, so my voice is just as loud as hers, I think – or even louder. I can’t focus on that. I think we’re doing some good things out here, using our platform, and I think what me and LeBron did with Uber the other day when it came out, I thought it was great. I thought a lot of people enjoyed it. I got so many encouraging texts from it. A lot of people enjoyed what we had to say, a lot more than just politics, which we didn’t even talk about. It’s just life that we talked about. My whole thing is I can’t dwell on that, and I can’t let that distract me from the real goal at hand, which is to continue to encourage and empower people around the world.”
Beyond that, Durant was asked to weigh in on “stick to sports” culture.
“I’m still going to be a citizen here in the US when I’m done playing basketball, and my voice still doesn’t matter at that point? I don’t play basketball 24 hours a day. I live in this world, just like everybody else. I don’t get what she’s saying, but I know what she’s trying to say.”
The entire interview is absolutely worth a read, and Durant also includes that he “feels sorry” for Ingraham “because she doesn’t understand.” Not every NBA player would be willing to give this level of pointed criticism, but Durant has certainly become more comfortable sharing his non-basketball views recently, and of course the fact that he was present for James’ initial comments makes his view even more intriguing in a number of ways.
James and Durant absolutely wouldn’t be alone in decrying Ingraham’s on-air expression, but in this case, Durant left no doubt as to how he felt after the comments were delivered.