“Don’t expect to avoid criticism,” was the message Fox News host Laura Ingraham had for superstar basketball player LeBron James on Friday during her morning radio program.
Her warning was in response to James’ recently released vulgar tirade against President Donald Trump.
James said the president “doesn’t give a f***” about Americans and implied he was a racist.
He also said Trump had ruined the office of the presidency.
The video even featured fellow basketball star Kevin Durant criticizing the president. The video was reportedly recorded in January and released Thursday through Uninterrupted, a site James co-founded, according to the New York Post.
James and Durant got much pushback for their criticism of the president; however, some leftists and left-leaning outlets have labeled such criticisms as possible racism.
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“It’s amazing how these player pundits don’t want to be held accountable for their views,” said Ingraham of the attack on critics of James’ words.
If you’re going to be a pundit, she offered, “Don’t expect that we’re going to sit by and say, ‘Oh, isn’t that good on ya? Good on ya, LeBron. That’s such informed commentary.'”
Guest Victor Davis Hanson agreed with the viewpoint and said such race-baiting viewpoints were established under the previous president.
“That protocol was established during the Obama administration when not only could you not criticize Obama, but he was declared a god,” he said.
Hanson also offered up the fact that it’s more acceptable for pop culture to turn against someone like Trump, just as it did with former President George W. Bush.
“There’s no connection that maybe [in] this society — where people have such a low bar [and] imagine blowing up the president of the United States or cutting his head off — that we have a problem with the gratuitous expression of metaphorical violence,” he said.
Hanson said there was an eight-year lull in violent pop culture and vulgar rants aimed at the president during Obama’s eight years in office — which shows a clear bias.
“It’s never going to change,” he warned, “if you don’t call them out.”
Hanson then proceeded to continue calling out James, saying, “He can shoot and that’s about all he can do.”
He added, “If you can’t take the heat, then you should stay on the court.”
Laura Ingraham also shared the following statement about the controversy: “In 2003, I wrote a New York Times best-seller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks and Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics.”
She added, “I’ve told Robert DeNiro to ‘shut up and act,’ Jimmy Kimmel to ‘shut up and make us laugh,’ and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich to ‘shut up and coach.’ 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. There was no racial intent in my remarks — false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, we stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case — the content was unaffiliated with ESPN.”
This article has been updated.