It didn’t take long for Kevin Durant to speak out against Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s repulsive comments telling Durant and LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” after the two criticized Donald Trump.
In a Q&A with USA Today, Durant called Ingraham’s piece “racist” and said, “I just feel bad for her. I feel sorry for her, because she doesn’t understand.”
It wasn’t just Ingraham telling Durant and James to stick to sports that caused all the uproar, but the dog-whistling manner in which she said it. Ingraham wondered aloud “Why must they run their mouthes?” and bashed the intelligence of two of the NBA’s biggest stars.
Durant said he did watch the whole monologue and came away with a simple notion.
“To me, it was racist.” Durant said. “I’m still going to be a citizen here in the US when I’m done playing basketball, and my voice still doesn’t matter at that point? I don’t play basketball 24 hours a day. I live in this world, just like everybody else. I don’t get what she’s saying, but I know what she’s trying to say.”
The whole interview is truly worth your time. Durant tries his best not to get into an irrelevant argument over race-baiting antics and instead tries to focus on what he can control.
“My whole thing is I can’t dwell on that, and I can’t let that distract me from the real goal at hand,” Durant said. “Which is to continue to encourage and empower people around the world.”
Asked if he has spoken to James about the clip, Durant told USA Today that he hasn’t and that he won’t focus on it. Ingraham, for her part, released a statement earlier on Friday defending her remarks and fighting back against any notion of racism.
Statement from @FoxNews' @IngrahamAngle on remarks about @KingJames, @KDTrey5. "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." https://t.co/zKZCMXtaxw pic.twitter.com/nh3EmXhwkN
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) February 16, 2018
When asked if this type of response still surprises him, Durant gave perhaps his strongest rebuke of Ingraham — and the best defense of his initial criticism of Trump.
“We are the American dream,” Durant said. “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.”
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