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Laura Ingraham Releases Statement Following Backlash From LeBron Comments

Laura Ingraham talking about LeBron James.

On Thursday an interview with LeBron James and Kevin Durant turned into a viral moment as James criticized President Trump. James and KD were interviewed together by ESPN's Cari Champion for an UNINTERRUPTED video in advance of All-Star Weekend.

Most of the conversation centered around basketball, but one portion of the segment shifted towards politics. James has been very outspoken about the president in the past, often criticizing him -- which he did once again during the interview.

James had this to say about the president: "The climate is hot. The No. 1 job in America, the appointed person is someone who doesn't understand the people. And really don't give a f--- about the people."

Fox News reporter Laura Ingraham called out James for his comments, citing his lack of a college education. LeBron jumped straight from high school to the NBA, before the NBA instituted the "one-and-done" rule.

Here's the full segment from Fox News, where Ingraham tell LeBron to "shut up and dribble."

The Fox News reporter received plenty of flack on Twitter for her take on LeBron's views. Several hours later, Ingraham released the following statement to Sports Illustrated.

"In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called 'Shut Up & Sing,' in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks & 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. I’ve told Robert DeNiro to 'Shut Up & Act,' Jimmy Kimmel to 'Shut Up & Make Us Laugh,' and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich to 'Shut up & 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."

It's not an outright apology, or an apology at all. Ingraham appears to think the "shut up and dribble" portion of her argument is the real problem, but that's not the case. Citing LeBron's supposed lack of intelligence due to the fact he doesn't hold a college degree, and insinuating he's not intelligent enough to speak on political matters is the issue.