ESPN’s Monday programming devolved into a left-wing talk show, as many of the commentators shared their opinions about race in America in response to the fallout from Laura Ingraham and LeBron James’ feud.
Molly Qerim, a commentator on ESPN, said Monday, “I want to add one thing as a female on this show. It’s also interesting times for women. I think the equivalent would be if he had said, ‘shut up and stay in the kitchen.'”
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith also said that white Americans have historically thought that athletes should not speak out on political issues.
“The fact is there have been a plethora of Americans from the white community and beyond throughout history that felt an athlete’s job was to shut up and play, don’t speak on these other issues,” he said.
“A matter of fact, you had professional athletes including Dwayne Wade and others, you had Charles Barkley and Shaq and others alluding to this as well, you had reporters, primarily white, who wouldn’t even come up to the black athlete and ask them about issues permeating through our society because they didn’t want to hear about an athlete’s takes on these issues and they wanted them to quote-unquote stay in their place.” (RELATED: Trump Has ESPN Thinking They’re Actually CNN)
Smith also took the opportunity to lecture viewers about white privilege.
“White folks make up 66 percent of the population. There’s a level of comfort in these United States of America that you have enjoyed that most black Americans will tell you we have never nor will we ever enjoy. We have to live with what we have to live with,” he said.
In a video uploaded to YouTube Sunday, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “It’s interesting that all these uber-conservatives talk about what stable geniuses they are, but they sound like morons when they try and dictate to other people what they should talk about, what they’re smart enough to talk about. She comes off like a bigot.”
This comes on the heels of ESPN’s Max Kellerman saying last week that President Trump is signaling to the “white mainstream” that it’s okay to be racist. (RELATED: ESPN Commentator Attacks Trump For Signaling To The ‘White Mainstream’ That It’s Okay To Be Racist)
All of this rhetoric is because Fox News’ Laura Ingraham went after LeBron James after he said that President Trump “don’t give a fuck about the people.”
Ingraham said that his comments were “barely intelligible, not to mention un-grammatical.”
“It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred million dollars a year to bounce a ball,” she 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.” (RELATED: Laura Ingraham Dunks On LeBron — ‘This Is What Happens When You Attempt To Leave High School Early’)
Morgan Caplan contributed to this report.