Don’t Shut Up, Dribble: Speak up, Speak Out

Akron, Oh., Jan.14 – Cari Champion Interviews James and Durant: This interview spawned controversy when a Fox News Host challenged the validity of the NBA players opinions about the political climate in the United States. Video by Uninterrupted.

by Josh Henry–

Following the 2016 Presidential election, a cloud has hung over the United States. Despite social media rising to new heights, people are scared to air their political opinions more than ever. That said, prominent figures in non-political positions are trying to give people some confidence when it comes to airing grievances or agreements with the way things are going.

Two of those figures are LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Those men are two of the NBA’s brightest stars and took part in a new vodcast with ESPN host Cari Champion on January 14th. Both men spoke not only about experiences in their own lives, but also about what it is like living under the Trump administration.

One day after the vodcast was released earlier in February, Fox News host Laura Ingraham did a segment on her show responding to the players commentary. She criticized many things about both men and specifically ended her commentary telling them and other outspoken athletes to just “shut up and dribble.”

The backlash to Ingraham’s comments was swift from all angles around the country. She took time to make pointed, and possibly racist, comments regarding the two men. But the ending statement is what bothers me the most.

We are guaranteed certain freedoms by our forefathers which we hold dear. One of those freedoms is the freedom of speech. It is very rarely limited, and without it many of the foundations of our nation would crumble.

The Sedition Act was struck down in the late 18th century because it limited our speech. It is dangerous to silence a nation from speaking out against their leaders. If we can’t speak out, we are controlled and therefore no longer free.

So how in the world can anyone be forced to be silent just because of their profession? As a reporter for the News Feed, should I not be entitled to my opinion? Should everyday people who vote in our leaders but work as bankers, teachers, plumbers, etc.… not be allowed to speak up when they feel their leaders are doing the wrong thing?

To expect silence and obedience from people just because they don’t happen to have a political science degree, or more likely the case with Ingraham: don’t agree with your side, isn’t a sign of democracy. It is a sign that she would rather have an oligarchy or dictator rule with no one opposing.

No, athletes will not shut up and dribble, or stick to sports, and they shouldn’t. After all, before he was President, Donald Trump was a reality TV show host and businessman. I guess he didn’t stick to that.