Fox News host Laura Ingraham has challenged Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James to come on her show, and debate the mixing of sports and politics.
The invite comes after critics slammed Ingraham for telling the NBA star to “shut up and dribble,” instead of talking about politics.
Ingraham tweeted out the invitation after taking the slings and arrows of a list of entertainers and sports figures for her criticism of the player:
Hey King, Come play on my Court next week. You’re invited on the show anytime. https://t.co/CpXRl5jGzQ
– Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 17, 2018
The Fox host sparked the controversy after telling LeBron James to lay off his near weekly attacks on President Donald Trump and keep his mind on his sport.
On the February 15 broadcast of her Ingraham Angle show, Ingraham said that James’ comments were “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical.” She also slammed James saying, “it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball.”
Ingraham was responding to yet another anti-Trump screed from the player who was heard saying Trump “doesn’t give a f**k” about people on the Uninterrupted Rolling With Champion podcast.
The evening Fox News host took criticism from a list of sports figures and at least one entertainer after she criticized James. Included among the attackers were Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Philadelphia Eagles DE Chris Long, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, and actress Ellen Pompeo.
Fox News has since released a statement from Laura Ingraham answering to her critics:
“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.”
James has not yet responded to the invitation to appear on Ingraham’s show.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.