The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade fired off at Laura Ingraham on Friday morning after she spewed vitriol at NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant, telling them they should “shut up and dribble” after the duo posted a video about Trump.
“They use to try and hide.. now the president has given everyone the courage to live their truths,” Wade tweeted.
They use to try and hide it.. now the president has given everyone the courage to live their truths. https://t.co/OwLSMHIG0m— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 16, 2018
Ingraham called James’ take “R-rated” and “barely intelligible,” going so far as to insult him for trying to leave high school a year early to enter the NBA. (James actually ended up graduating from high school and joining the league afterward.)
“I’m numb to this commentary like ... must they run their mouths like that?”, Ingraham said.
She went on:
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.’
(Of course, as one person on Twitter noted, no one voted for Ingraham either.)
James has been a frequent critic of Trump, calling him a “bum” on social media. But Ingraham learned you can’t assail one of the country’s most beloved athletes over his education without expecting some backlash.
Many people on social media criticized Ingraham’s comments, with some calling her out for racism:
This Laura Ingraham stuff really has me bothered. However you feel about LeBron James the player, he is an American success story and has given more back to kids and a city than any of us could ever imagine. Shame on you @IngrahamAngle— Steven Spector (@StevenSpector10) February 16, 2018
Watch this and tell me Laura Ingraham doesn't secretly wish she could own people https://t.co/5aIoN9WsZq— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) February 16, 2018
“Must they run their mouths like that?” @IngrahamAngle asked in her segment centered around calling @KingJames an uppity idiot. Yes, to answer her question—and also, thanks for making his point about being subject to racism despite being wealthy. https://t.co/QLJ5lVIQH7— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 16, 2018
Couple of things here.— Anthony De Rosa (@Anthony) February 16, 2018
a) This is racist as hell.
b) Trump is a D-list celebrity. So the idea that celebrities + athletes can't be political is disingenuous at best.
c) Has she ever heard Trump speak?
d) Laura Ingraham is trash. https://t.co/OmIJleEzZM
The hate seething from Laura Ingraham over black men having opinions is really something else. We are living in a world now where you are not allowed to be critical of the president or a nationally televised state media host will run an entire segment on you. https://t.co/BcNpqhNeqb— Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) February 16, 2018
Your friendly reminder that while LeBron James might be an athlete, he's still an American. He has a Congressman, two Senators, and a President. He's eligible to vote, and he has just as much of a right to talk about politics as Laura Ingraham does. https://t.co/4dk5uPzSnb— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 16, 2018
One of the most epic takedowns of Ingraham came from a recent Super Bowl LII winner, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chris Long:
I’ll be replying to my own tweet with a collage of your network allowing political commentary from a few folks. https://t.co/WUGl1WQSLE— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 16, 2018
I’m sure the network she works for has interviewed a bunch of athletes, just couldn’t find the screenshots quickly. The point is, what’s the prerequisite for who can talk politics? So, Fox News folks who agree with Laura... you okay with these segments?— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 16, 2018
And if you reply “stick to sports,” you should probably tune of out Fox News because they’ve got karate guys talking climate change on there. (Which I’m cool with... it’s his right.) Unless it’s just about you needing to feel like you’ve got control of athletes like Lebron.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 16, 2018
Wade coming to James’ defense is no surprise, since the two are close friends. James congratulated Wade last week on Instagram for signing with the Miami Heat again.
In a statement sent via a Fox spokesperson, Ingraham said her remarks had no “racial intent” and she has been criticizing celebrities for speaking about politics for years.
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.
This story has been updated with a statement from Ingraham.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated Ingraham had insulted James for leaving high school a year early. In fact, she said he “attempted” to do so. James finished high school and joined the NBA afterward.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.