LeBron James seems to be taking full advantage of the endless business opportunities that come with Los Angeles. In October, a new Showtime docu-series titled Shut Up and Dribble will debut. Showtime says it will aim to open eyes to “the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment, through the lens of the NBA.” This docu-series is being produced by non-other than LeBron James. The series will air just in time for LeBron to begin his first games in the Lakers purple and gold.
Earlier this year, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham had some trivializing comments to say about the NBA superstar, referring to LeBron James as a “dumb jock”, and also attacking his intelligence by saying “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA”. Ingraham then closed her segment by saying James and other athletes who have something to say about politics should simply “Shut up and Dribble”. Laura Ingraham was responding to a video of LeBron and Kevin Durant where he said, President Trump does not “give a f− about the people”. Her comments didn’t bode well for her on social media where celebrities, other athletes, and fans didn’t hesitate to throw their support to the superstar with hashtags like #WeWillNotShutUpAndDribble and #MoreThanAnAthlete.
Leave it to LeBron to take a condescending remark and turn it into a blessing. The actions of LeBron James prove that the duty of an athlete is to affect the community in a positive manner, and if Laura Ingraham took the time to do her homework, she would’ve known this as well. At the time of Ingraham’s comments, the LeBron James Foundation had committed $41.8 million dollars to send over 100,000 kids from Akron, Ohio to college. LeBron James received scrutiny for “The Decision” when he originally left the Cavaliers for the Heat back in 2010 for making it a media frenzy and ESPN television special. However, James raised $2.5 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Club of America. Just last week, LeBron opened a public school in Ohio for at-risk children. Fact, LeBron James is a great basketball player, but kind gestures like this demonstrate LeBron’s greatness off the court. Like many other athletes, his dedication to the young minds in America positively shapes the future of our nation presenting himself as a positive role model and certainly nothing that symbolizes a dumb jock.
It is the job of professional athletes to be the people to look up to because kids around the whole see them as larger than life. The young generation of the 90’s grew-up saying “I want to be Like Mike” because of Michael Jordan’s dominance in the sport of basketball, but imagine a world where the youth are saying “I too want to help others, invest in our future, and simply put a smile on people’s faces”. That is what LeBron James does while still finding time to stop and dribble a ball.