Laura Ingraham defends Drew Brees’ kneeling comment but told LeBron to ‘shut up and dribble’, gets called Nazi
"Well, he’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him. I mean, he’s a person. He has some worth," Ingraham said of Brees' never kneeling for US flag and Anthem comment
Fox News host Laura Ingraham landed herself in hot water on Thursday, June 4, when she defended New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees after the latter received backlash for saying that he would “never agree” with NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality. Her comments came two years after she infamously told NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” in 2018 following their criticism of President Donald Trump.
It all started after Brees, who supported #BlackoutTuesday, a social media campaign which expressing solidarity with George Floyd protesters, was asked by a reporter what he thought about “players kneeling again when the NFL season starts." Brees said, "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," in keeping with the same tone that he has maintained since former San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. Brees' remarks sparked widespread criticisms from fellow NFL players and athletes.
During the latest segment of her show, 'Ingraham Angle' the host defended Brees while warning viewers that there is now a “dangerous either/or mentality: Either disrespect the flag and anthem with particular protest, or you’re a racist.” She further added: "Well, he’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him. I mean, he’s a person. He has some worth, I imagine. I mean, this is beyond football, though. This is totalitarian conduct. This is Stalinist.”
A comparison video collage of Ingraham telling James and Durant to “shut up and dribble” and to quit talking about politics and her current segment on Brees went viral on Twitter. She was also met with angry critics after she chose to defend Brees. Most people suspected that Ingraham did not have a problem with Brees weighing in on political issues because his skin was white and his views coincided with that of Trump.
"In case you forget the blatant racism we need to stop pretending is 'one side of the aisle' @IngrahamAngle is, and has always been, scum. This bigotry is transparent and pathetic," one user wrote, while another said, "Laura Ingraham told LeBron James to shut up and dribble, to keep his opinions to himself. Laura Ingraham came to racist Drew Brees' defense by saying he’s allowed to have an opinion. Laura Ingraham is an evil Nazi."
A third commented: "I used to be shocked by the hypocrisy, but now I just expect it. Smh #LauraIngraham" and a fourth said: "Hey @IngrahamAngle your racism is showing. #BlackLivesMatter."
But not everyone was pissed and there were those who thought that the critics were reacting a bit too harshly. "God, ducking everyone is labeled a white Supremacist nowadays. You dilute the term to the point of meaninglessness. You don’t like she told a basketball player to shut up about politics, off which he knows nothing about. Get over it."
Nevertheless, Brees issued a lengthy apology on Instagram, clarifying that his words were not commentary against the Black Lives Matter movement, stressing on the fact that he was not the 'enemy.' Along with his post was an accompanying picture of a white and a black man holding hands.
"I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character," he said.
He added: "I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right."