Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

OPINION: Athletes have freedom of speech too

In a response to Fox news host Laura Ingraham, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James first responded with an instagram post, reading “I am more than an athlete.”

James also told the media “I will definitely not ‘shut up and dribble.’ I mean too much to society.”

Laura Ingraham criticized James and Golden State Warrior forward Kevin Durant for the comments they stated about President Trump in a video with ESPN reporter Cari Champion.

Laura Ingraham had her own words to say, mainly that James and Durant should just “shut up on dribble,” on her Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle.”

Ingraham also bashes Lebron from going to the NBA straght out of high school as she refers to him as not fully educated.

Well first, let’s remember these athletes are human beings just like us and have emotion. Just because someone is a political Fox News show host doesn’t mean they get to tell someone to not talk about politics. That’s sure a way to get her TV show ratings up.

Lebron James is a social influence off the wooden court. He addresses issues on the court anyway possible.

James wore shoes this season of opposite colors, spelling out “equality.”

He wanted to raise awareness of the inequality issue across the nation. James interprets equality as “all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men and women, black, or white or Hispanic.”

LBJ Nike's.jpg
Lebron James wearing customized Nike’s to promote awareness of the social issues going on in the USA. Photo credit: Courtesy of USA Today


San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said, “[James] possibly has more impact off the court.”

If I would have to choose an athlete to defend a community or talk some truth about politics or President Trump, I would choose Lebron James.

In a general sense for all athletes, they do have a voice to use and the right to use it. Trump never being elected to a public office didn’t have his right of campaigning for presidency taken away. He was a business man and he got to talk politics. Same should go for athletes. No one has the right to take away the first amendment from others.

Yes, some of these athletes weren’t born here in the U.S., but they have came here for obvious reasons. They don’t deserve to be voiceless as if their words don’t matter. They pay taxes just like any normal everyday person. They contribute to communities to help improve them just like U.S. born athletes.

Also, if we were to limit athletes to just being athletes, none of us should speak politics. I guess we all should just stick to our job description because we lose our identity as a human and as a U.S. citizen since that’s what Laura Ingraham is saying.

Next thing you know, she’ll be telling non-political science major students “shut up and study” or telling movie actors “shut up and make movies.”

Just because athletes make millions of dollars doesn’t mean they should not have an opinion. Athletes were born as human beings and that is an identity that can never be changed.