Shut Up and Dribble?

Photo by Patrick Fore, courtesy of

The opportunity for political voice and the chance to be heard is one of the things that our Founding Fathers wanted almost more than anything else for us as citizens. It is an undeniable right given to every citizen of the United States.

That is, unless, you are a professional athlete, according to Fox News political commentator Laura Ingraham.

The NBA playoffs are right around the corner. It is a time for teams and athletes to compete at a higher level and give it all they’ve got. Although we are amidst the playoffs, these recent turn of political events have shifted the entire NBA and the way Americans view athletes.

LeBron James is known to be one of the best players in NBA history. In a recent interview, James was asked a question in regards to the Trump administration. His answer seemed to ruffle the feathers of Laura Ingraham.

In an on-air interview, Ingraham said that James (and other professional athletes involved) need to, “shut up and dribble.” James responded with an instagram post, saying, “I am more than an athlete.” Since this original incident, more and more athletes have had their voice heard in one way or another.

I mean, that makes sense. If you think about it, why would LeBron James, as a US citizen, athlete and role model for thousands of people all around the world, have any right to have his political voice be heard?

Absurd, right?

No. Absolutely and unequivocally not.

The fact that Laura Ingraham had the audacity to say what she did is as Kevin Durant put it, “racist.” Although James may not be the most eloquent of speakers, he is just as much a US citizen as you, Laura Ingraham or anyone else. His voice matters, just as all of ours do. Exactly the way the Founding Fathers intended.

Kobe Bryant recently won an Oscar for best short animated film. In his acceptance speech, he said, “As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble but I’m glad we do a little bit more than that”.

The bottom line is this: the NBA and all other professional sports are bigger than they appear. Every person has a voice and the right to be heard. The biggest difference between you and any of these athletes is that they are in front of screens and behind cameras all day and whether they like it or not, people do hear their voices.

For that reason alone, their voices should be and will continue to be heard.

Story by:
Cade Higbee