The comments came as James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, appeared on an episode of video series Rolling with the Champion this week.
In the video, the duo talks about their introduction to basketball, as well as federal and racial politics, including U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The No. 1 job in America… is someone who doesn’t understand the people. And really don’t give a f**k about the people,” James said in the show.
“While we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us, that this is not the way.”
Kevin Durant compared the U.S. to a basketball team and said “it’s not run by a great coach.”
Ingraham reacted to the pair’s video on her talk show later on Feb. 15.
She insulted James’ intellect, calling him a “rich spoiled athlete” and a “dumb jock,” while also saying his commentary was “barely intelligible.”
“Lebron and Kevin, you’re both great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach,” she said.
“So keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”
But many people took exception to the commentary – calling Ingraham out for saying, “it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball.”
James also touched on the reaction to his public life in the show before Ingraham reacted.
“In our small world, us as basketball players, us as African-Americans, we feel the hate for the decisions we make that we feel like are best for us,” he said.
NFL player Chris Long posted a series of screenshots from Fox News’ previous shows in which multiple athletes, models, musicians and actors had commented on politics.
Among the group were basketball coach Bob Knight, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris – all of whom are white.
“The point is, what’s the prerequisite for who can talk politics?” Long wrote on Twitter.
“And if you reply ‘stick to sports,’ you should probably tune of out Fox News because they’ve got karate guys talking climate change on there.”
ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum noted that while Ingraham said James shouldn’t comment on politics because no one voted for him, “no one voted for Laura Ingram either.”
Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat also weighed in, saying on Twitter: “They use [sic] to try and hide, now the president has given everyone the courage to live their truths.”
James and Durant have previously been outspoken about their dislike of Trump.
During a public battle between Trump and NFL players who knelt during the national anthem, Durant’s teammate Steph Curry said he wouldn’t go to the White House after winning the 2017 NBA championship.
Trump then disinvited the team, and James called the president a “bum.”
“Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” he said at the time.
James also publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
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