It’s been more than three years since Fox News white supremacy-wench Laura Ingraham went full KKK-Karen on her show and told NBA superstar LeBron James to stay away from the social and political commentary game and to just “shut up and dribble” for the game that he knows. James responded by not only refusing to be quiet but by throwing Ingraham’s own words back in her aging-like-milk-ass face by turning them into the title for a docuseries on how white people have always tried to silence Black athletes who have controversial (to white people) opinions.
You would think that would be the end of it, but nah—because wypipo keep trying it.
ESPN reports that Swedish pro-footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticized James during an interview Thursday saying that he doesn’t “like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” and that James should “do what you’re good at. Do the category you do.”
“I don’t do politics,” he continued. “If I would be a political politician, I would do politics. That is the first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status. Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good.”
So, here’s the first thing that always pisses me off about this narrative: Racism isn’t a political issue, it’s a social one.
Only in the minds of white people who enjoy the privilege of never having experienced systematic racism is the fight for racial equality and the recognition of Black humanity a political issue.
Secondly, it’s weird that white people assume that if a Black person is rich and/or famous, there’s no reason for them to care about the millions of Black people who are still vulnerable to systemic racism. That says more about them and their own culture of indifference than it says about LeBron, Colin Kaepernick or anyone else they claim should just shut-it and be happy they’re making a lot of money.
The only Black NBA star that should be told to stick to what they’re good at is Nate Robinson. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
Anyway, James responded to Ibrahimovic with the same, “nah son,” that he responded to Ingraham with, but he also pointed out that Ibrahimovic has also complained about being discriminated against.
“In 2018, I believe, he was the same guy who said when he was back in Sweden...because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, that he felt there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch,” James said. He then said that he speaks “from a very educated mind, so I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.”
Several years ago, Ibrahimovic said he was subject to “undercover racism” in his native Sweden because his Bosnian roots gave him a surname that doesn’t sound traditionally Swedish.
“I am not Andersson or Svensson,” Ibrahimovic told Canal+ in 2018, referring to what he considered racist treatment from the media. “If I would be that, trust me, they would defend me even if I would rob a bank. They would defend me, I tell you.”
Imagine the hypocrisy of publicly speaking on your own brushes with kinda-sorta-racism while seeking to deny Black athletes the right to speak on the systemic racism faced by Black people in America and all over the world.
Thankfully, LeBron’s spirit will not be broken by white fragility and he declared, once again, that he will never just shut up and dribble.
“I would never shut up about things that are wrong,” James said. “I preach about my people, and I preach about equality; social injustice; racism; systematic voter suppression; things that go on in our community.
“Because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that was going on, and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are going through the same thing, and they need a voice. And I’m their voice,” he continued. “I’m their voice, and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that may be going on, not only in my community but around this country and around the world. So, there’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how this platform and how powerful my voice is. “