Basketball Sports

No, Athletes Will Not ‘Shut Up And Dribble’ — And They Never Have

Photo: Shut Up and Dribble (Showtime)

Article by Linda Holmes, via NPR

The new documentary series Shut Up and Dribble, which premiered the first of its three parts this weekend on Showtime, is a response to commentator Laura Ingraham’s dismissive February 2018 sneer in the direction of LeBron James, one of the series’ executive producers. Don’t take my word for it that it’s a direct response: watch the opening sequence in which Ingraham, disgusted by James and other black athletes speaking out against President Donald Trump, says that nobody elected them, nobody wants to hear from them, and they should, yes, just “shut up and dribble.”

The idea that athletes — or actors, or writers — shouldn’t be politically active in the public sphere is surprisingly widely held. The point of the series is to demonstrate that in the case of black athletes, holding the game at a distance from the society in which it’s played is not only contrary to history but impossible. And, perhaps, that it would be irresponsible.

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