LOS ANGELES — As America continues to reel from the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer, LeBron James has (unsurprisingly) emerged as a key voice.
The NBA legend and Akron native has consistently voiced his outrage at Floyd's death, and is urging citizens of all races to do their part to combat discrimination. His latest message came on Thursday, when he posted a powerful video on his Instagram account.
In the video, a basketball can be heard dribbling in the background, with messages flashing across a white screen to the sound of each dribble. The quotes included phrases like "Shut up and dribble," "Shut up and stand," "Shut up and put your hands up," and finally "Shut up and lay still," the latter of which faded slowly away as a clear reference to Floyd.
After the ball stops dribbling, the following words are displayed: "This is why we can't just stick to sports. Do you understand now?"
The video appears to be a clear dig at Fox News' Laura Ingraham, who has made headlines for her often incendiary (and at times racist) comments on her nightly show. Back in February of 2018 when LeBron was in his final season with the Cavaliers, Ingraham criticized both him and Kevin Durant for their displeasure with President Donald Trump, saying both stars should "Shut up and dribble."
James, who has made headlines for his social activism both in Northeast Ohio and around the world, immediately shot back and said he had no plans to quit speaking his mind. Ingraham's original remarks, however, found their way back into the social media landscape today after Ingraham defended New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on last night's edition of "The Ingraham Angle." The NFL legend had criticized fellow players who kneel during the national anthem, without acknowledging that most who kneel have been doing so as a protest against racism and police brutality.
Brees has since apologized both publicly and to his teammates, but Ingraham's willingness to support Brees (who is white) while scorning both James and Durant (both black) was not lost on many observers. After first expressing his disgust with Bress' comments yesterday, LeBron took to Twitter again to blast Ingraham's double-standard, writing he and others were "simply F-N tired of this treatment right here!"
Ingraham has denied her criticisms of James and others is racially motivated, nothing she has made similar "Shut up" comments against white liberal figures like Robert De Niro and Gregg Popovich. Brees, like Ingraham, is a registered Republican.