When is a professional basketball player far more articulate, humane, civil, and astute than a journalist? This is not a trick question, and the answer is not all that surprising when the “journalist” in question is Laura Ingraham, working for the propaganda corporation Fox, and the basketball player is LeBron James.
After James recently appeared on a new ESPN podcast with Kevin Durant and Cari Champion and made comments critical of President Trump, Ingraham jumped at the opportunity to denigrate a powerful black man on her Fox show The Ingraham Angle and said, “Must they run their mouths like that?” Take a moment to parse her nasty sentence. “They” as in who exactly? American black men? “They” as in “the other?” They “run their mouths like that?”
Never content to use her Fox podium to merely promote Trump and his racist agenda, Ingraham went on to say on the air, “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA.” [Incorrect in her implication: James graduated from high school.] Ingraham continued, “And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred million dollars 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.” We might also add that no one voted Trump to “be their coach.” In attempting to mock James, Ingraham only showed herself, once again, to be racist, factually ignorant, and un-American.
“Ignorance is something I try to ignore,” said James in his interview with USA Today Sports. “That was definitely an ignorant comment [Ingraham made]. 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.” A real journalist could not have stated it better. Every person in America still has the right to speak his or her mind until we descend into a dictatorship.
After negative fallout from her on air comments, Ingraham tried to walk back her statements, then rationalize, “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.” Ingraham is, of course, advocating for an America in which only the “political pundits” are allowed to speak about politics, something that sounds very much like a day in the life of a citizen under a dictatorship. Ingraham is also known as a mouth who speaks out about sports which is kind of ironic in this context.
Never one to quit when she is behind, Ingraham dug her hole deeper by claiming, “There was no racial intent in my remarks.” Indulging in couching her terms and projecting in the manner of her hero Trump, Ingraham then said, “Defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism.” Of course, here, Ingraham was “transparently attempting to immunize” herself against the added scrutiny and criticism of her racist remarks.
James responded to Ingraham on Instagram, noting, “I am more than an athlete.” Indeed, he most certainly is. Ingraham, however, has shown herself to be not much more than a partisan hack, and a racist one at that.
Nancy Avery Dafoe