Fox News host Laura Ingraham reignited a feud this week over whether athletes should get political.

Ingraham on her show suggested NBA stars shouldn't talk politics, telling Kevin Durant and LeBron James to "shut up and dribble." Durant and LeBron in a video had criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE.

Multiple players rallied against Ingraham, and Durant called her comments "racist."

The feud follows the recent debate, centered around the NFL football season, over whether players should use their platform for political statements.

Last year, Trump sparked a national controversy over players who protest police brutality and racism by kneeling during the national anthem before games. He called for NFL team owners to fire players who don't stand.

Trump's remarks sparked widespread protests from players across the league and condemnations from many athletes and coaches. Many players that had not previously made political statements supported other players' right to protest.

Players from some other sports leagues also made gestures of unity, and around the same time, last fall, the White House withdrew an invitation to the Golden State Warriors — Durant's basketball team — to visit following player Stephen Curry's criticism of Trump.

This week also saw Durant's coach, Steve Kerr, reprimand politicians in comments on the Florida school shooting. 

"It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools,” he said Wednesday. “We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the [National Rifle Association] because they’ve financed their campaign for them.”

The video with LeBron and Durant was filmed in January and released Thursday.


The Fox News host on Thursday railed against the two NBA stars over the video released from James's multimedia platform Uninterrupted, where the two players made comments critical of the president.

In the video, James said that Trump doesn't "give a f--- about the people."

Ingraham called the comments "ignorant."

"Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously," Ingraham responded Thursday on her show, "The Ingraham Angle."

"You're great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself, or, as someone once said, 'shut up and dribble,' " she added.

Durant and James both responded in separate statements Friday, saying they would not stop talking about political issues important to them and accusing the Fox host of racism.

“To me, it was racist,” Durant responded at a press conference. "Ignorance is something I try to ignore. 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."

James tweeted a link to Durant's comments, adding the hashtag "#wewillnotshutupanddribble."

Other NBA players joined in responding to Ingraham's comments, including James's former teammate on the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade.

"They use to try and hide it.. now the president has given everyone the courage to live their truths," Wade said, apparently referring to Ingraham's attitude.

The comment also got a response from a member of Super Bowl champion team Philadelphia Eagles, Chris Long, who accused Ingraham of hypocrisy for previous Fox News segments featuring athletes such as former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling.

"I'm sure the network she works for has interviewed a bunch of athletes, just couldn't find the screenshots quickly," Long wrote on Twitter. "The point is, what's the prerequisite for who can talk politics? So, Fox News folks who agree with Laura... you okay with these segments?"

Ingraham, however, insisted her comments had nothing to do with race, in a response issued on her show Friday night.

"Many claimed my line that LeBron should 'shut up and dribble' was racist. Uh, what? I wrote a book, fifteen years ago, fairly well known, New York Times bestseller, called 'Shut Up and Sing.' And I've been using variants of that title to call out political celebrities for 15 years without regard for skill color, where you came from, what you do, by the way, including on this show," she added.

Her comments Friday night came after a statement issued through Fox News earlier Friday, calling the charges of racism "false" and "defamatory."

"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," Ingraham said. 

Ingraham also invited James to appear on her show to address the controversy, responding to James's tweet with an invitation to "come play on my Court next week."

"You’re invited on the show anytime," she added.

A request for comment on this story to the NBA Players Association was not immediately answered on Saturday.