lebron james was named the mvp of the nba all-star game for the third time in his career last weekend, but off the court he was also generating a lot of media attention.
an opinion by morgan campbell on the toronto star website is presented with this teaser (short intro)
viral video of fox news host laura ingraham blasting james gives surge of publicity to the basketball star’s new company and his efforts to fight racism.
blast in this context means criticize. surge means increase.
in an interview last week posted on uninterrupted, lebron’s own multimedia platform, james and fellow nba superstar kevin durant slammed (criticized) president trump. one of lebron’s comments was
(trump) really don’t give a fuck about the people
give a fuck means care, give importance to.
ingraham saw an opportunity and seized it.
she assailed james’ comments as “unintelligible” and “barely grammatical,” then suggested he wasn’t authorized to talk politics: no one voted for you, keep the political commentary to yourself. or, as someone once said, ‘shut up and dribble‘.
assail means attack. barely is almost not. keep it to yourself means don’t share, don’t say it. dribble is the mandatory action of bouncing the ball in the game of basketball.
lebron is an expert dribbler. (cleveland.com)
the reaction was strong and immediate.
[ingraham’s] video quickly rippled through social media, shared widely by people disagreeing with her.
a ripple is a small wave. in this scenario ripple means generate interest. widely means in many places.
ripples are little waves too
so thank you, whatever her name is…i get to sit up here and talk about what’s really important and how i can help change kids not only in america but in brazil, in england, in mexico and all over. so thank you.
whatever shows that lebron doesn’t even know who laura ingraham is, and implies that she is much less popular than he is. james’ thank u to ingraham was mostly sarcastic, but ingraham did in fact provoke the media to focus on lebron’s non-basketball activities, and give him the opportunity to show that he is much more than just a basketball player.
in blasting the cleveland cavaliers’ superstar, ingraham unwittingly boosted his off-court business interests and bolstered his burgeoning identity as an athlete who uses his influence to combat social inequality.
or as the headline of campbell’s article says
Anti-LeBron James rant only serves to strengthen NBA star’s brand and cause
unwittingly means unintentionally or stupidly. boost means improve. bolster and strengthen both mean make stronger. burgeoning means growing. rant refers to what laura ingraham said about lebron and means speak emotionally, maybe letting emotions take over and losing coherency. brand means product or image.
laura ingraham’s rant against lebron backfired: it produced a surge of positive publicity for lebron. (sfgate.com)
a large portion of campbell’s opinion establishes that lebron is treated differently than white sports celebrities because race issues are part of his dialogue.
peyton manning has made many spots for tv including one for the mobile service sprint.
campbell points out that though nfl quarterback peyton manning is well-known for commercials,
[he] didn’t earn criticism for a failure to stick to sports
jj watt of the houston texans won the nfl walter payton man of the year award this year for his fundraising efforts in the aftermath of hurricane harvey (kirby lee-usa today sports)
nfl defensive lineman j.j. watt has appeared in movies and raised (collected) almost $40 million for victims of hurricane harvey
race also blinds those critics to the fundamental similarity between watt’s fundraising and james’ efforts to confront racism while also sending akron kids to college. those acts all spring from the athletes’ desire to improve communities where they grew up or currently play.
last week san antonio spurs coach gregg popovich said the u.s. hasn’t figured out its issues with racism. (ezra shaw/getty images)
and nba coaches
steve kerr and gregg popovich criticize the president’s racism, they earn praise from people who agree with them and silence from pundits like ingraham
earn means deserve, get from effort. stick to means continue with, don’t do another thing. blind means the critics can’t see it. fundraising is collecting funds for a purpose or cause. spring from is the same as come from. grow up refers to where lebron spent his childhood (akron, ohio). praise is strong approval. pundits are experts. it is often used sarcastically or derogatorally.
laura ingraham tells everyone who disagrees with her to shut up. not just lebron.
to be fair, ingraham claims (says) she recently criticized popovich and has criticized various other white entertainers who offered political opinions via variations on the title of a book she wrote that most of the public is not familiar with.
in 2003, i wrote a new york times bestseller called ‘shut up & sing’ in which i criticized celebrity [singers] 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….. just this week [i] told the san antonio spurs’ [coach] 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.
trash means criticize. sound off means give an opinion. ingraham’s usage of freelance is accusing entertainers of giving an opinion in an area where they are not experts. call out means challenge. remarks are comments.
students across the u.s. have been calling out their politicians for not finding a solution to the nation’s gun crisis. (washington post/bill o’leary)
what do u think? do u have a problem with athletes expressing political opinions? share your views under leave a reply