People place entertainers and athletes at such a higher level of expectations than everyday individuals. We often treat them as though their occupations define who they are entirely. We forget that entertainers and athletes are just like us at the end of the day. They are human beings with feelings, emotions, and opinions. They have social lives outside of their occupation. They have families and friends. They have interests and are invested in the well-being of their country, just like the rest of us.
Laura Ingraham and Fox News seem to think differently. They have created this narrative that assumes the opinion of someone who gets paid “$100 million a year to dribble a ball” do not truly matter. They forget, however, that what LeBron James has done goes way beyond just dribbling a ball. He has done great things for his hometown. He has given back to the people and the communities that helped guide him to where he is today. This is more than we can say for some of today’s politicians, or Fox News anchors.
LeBron is an incredible athlete. In fact, I would argue that LeBron is one of the best athletes of his time, if not all time. His talents exceed the norm, earning him the title of King James. Even those who refuse to watch sports recognize his name and his talents for what they are. But none of these things mean that he must give up his rights as an American citizen simply because he plays the game.
LeBron has always been a driven and outspoken man. His charisma and passion have pushed him to stand behind his beliefs and to stand up individuals whom America often forgets about. LeBron has worked with the Boys and Girls Club of America for years, donating to their cause. He enjoys working with children from lower income areas and is passionate about providing those children with equal opportunity.
He also started the LeBron James Family Foundation, which emphasizes the importance of education. Overall, LeBron has donated $87 million in full-tuition scholarships to four-year colleges for students in the Akron, Ohio area. LeBron has even expressed interest in making an institution at the University of Akron that will ensure all kids will succeed in college.
LeBron has always had a voice in the public media, long before Trump was president, and he will continue to long after. Whether he used that voiced for supporting certain political candidates, or to speak out against police violence and brutality, or even to bring attention to the need for equality, one thing is for sure: his voice is loud and he will always be heard.
Ingraham’s remarks were not only uncalled for, but also ignorant and inherently racist. They will not affect LeBron James, however, and they will certainly not keep him from fighting against these kinds of injustices. LeBron continues to demonstrate his intelligence and skills far behind the court and his athleticism.
“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 stand behind LeBron’s words, because those who use their voices for love and for justice will always drown out the voices of those who fight for hatred and bigotry.
So, no, Laura Ingraham. LeBron James doesn’t have to “shut up and dribble.” And for all you student athletes and aspiring professional athletes out there – neither do you.
Because we all deserve to be recognize.
And we all deserve to have a voice.
So use your voice and be loud and fight for what you believe in.