Kevin Durant has responded to Laura Ingraham’s assertion that he should “shut up and dribble” instead of weighing in on politics, saying, “To me, it was racist.”
“Ignorance is something I try to ignore,” the Golden State Warriors star said in an interview with USA Today. “That was definitely an ignorant comment. 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, I think — or even louder.”
On Thursday’s episode of her Fox News program, Ingraham addressed a joint interview with Durant and LeBron James, in which the two said President Donald Trump “doesn’t give a f— about the people.” The conservative commentator mocked James for leaving high school a year early to play basketball and said the two men should not speak about politics.
“Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously,” said Ingraham on Thursday evening. “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA, and it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who get paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball.”
Ingraham’s comments sparked considerable backlash online on Friday, leading the host to issue a statement explaining that the “shut up and dribble” line was meant as a reference to her 2003 book “Shut Up & Sing.” “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,” she said.
“We know if we use our voice and it’s not what some people may agree with, of course they’re going to say ignorant things like that,” Durant told USA Today. “But we are the American dream. We come from nothing. We rose up in our profession to be able to take care of our families forever. I think everybody in the country would want to do that, so I think more people want to be us than — I don’t even know her name, whoever that lady is.”
Durant said he had not discussed Ingraham’s segment or the surrounding uproar with James, explaining that he was trying to brush off the insult.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I kind of feel sorry for her … It’s kind of sad that she’s so close minded.”