A Fox News host has come under fire from at least three professional athletes for telling U.S. basketball players LeBron James and Kevin Durant to "shut up and dribble" instead of engaging in politics.
Laura Ingraham, host of 'The Ingraham Angle,' chastised the two NBA stars for questioning U.S. President Donald Trump and his policies.
"It's always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid US$100 million a year to bounce a ball," Ingraham said.
"Oh, and LeBron and Kevin: 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."
James had recently described the political climate in the United States as "hot" during an interview on the Uninterrupted video series 'Rolling With the Champion.' Durant also questioned Trump during the set, as the two rode in a car with ESPN anchor Cari Champion.
Since Ingraham's remarks, at least three other athletes have defended James and Durant.
"They used to try to hide it," basketball player Dwayne Wade tweeted. "Now the president has given everyone the courage to live their truths."
Football player Kyle Long also defended James on Twitter, writing: "I have known about LeBron. Just learning about this lady. She sucks."
Long's brother, Eagles defensive end Chris Long, also chimed in on the social media site, calling Fox News "hypocritical" and saying the station often brings on athletes, musicians and other celebrities to talk about politics.
After much heat, Ingraham released a statement Friday: "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."