Athletes are some of the most influential people in the United States, whether they like it or not.
LeBron James — one of the most influential athletes of all time — seems to have fully embraced that role. James is constantly entering into new ventures outside of the NBA, finding new ways to reach people and impact the country. Just look at the I PROMISE school he opened in Akron last week for proof.
His latest project, though, seems to have found its inspiration from an unlikely source.
James will be one of the executive producers on an upcoming three-part Showtime documentary series entitled “Shut Up and Dribble,” the network announced on Monday.
The series title comes from a rant that Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham went on in February shortly after the Golden State Warriors declined an invitation to visit Donald Trump in the White House following their NBA Finals win. She said that James and Kevin Durant, among others, should “shut up and dribble,” instead of sharing their political commentary. The clip instantly went viral, and caused many across the NBA to both speak out against Ingraham and to speak their minds outside of the sport even more.
The series will feature players in the NBA — starting from the merger between the NBA and the American Basketball Association in the 1970s — whose impact and reach has transcended the sport, and how the role of an athlete in society has changed over time. The series, which will use Ingraham’s comments as a “jumping-off point,” will premiere in October.
“If being a star athlete is inherently a political experience, ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ tells that complex and dramatic story from the past to the present and from the inside out,” Showtime CEO David Nevins told Variety on Monday. “LeBron James is one of many competitors whose place in the spotlight has led not to silence but perspective, and he, Maverick Carter and Gotham Chopra have given us an important, insightful docuseries that should bring their fans and fellow citizens to a higher level of discourse, rather than the dismissal satirized in the title.”
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