Kevin Durant found something troubling by reading between the lines of Laura Ingraham’s rant.
The Golden State Warriors star characterized the FOX News anchor’s criticism of his and LeBron James’ opinions on Donald Trump as “ignorant” and “racist” on Friday in an interview with USA TODAY’s Sam Amick. Ingraham blasted the NBA superstars Thursday night as unfit to voice their opinions on politics, and many commentators immediately took her to task over her assertion.
Durant offered a measured response in his first public comments on the controversy.
“Yeah, I watched it,” Durant told USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick. “But like I said, you tend to focus on the positive. It’s just sad to see people who think that way. It’s weird. It’s not even a place where we should be as humans. … To me, it was racist. What does (skin color) have to do with anything? We all have an opinion, just like she has an opinion that I disagree with. But I’m not going on TV, or tweeting, and calling her … .”
Like many observers, Durant took particular umbrage at Ingraham’s questioning of his and James’ intelligence.
“Yes. Yes,” Durant said when asked if that particular comment struck a nerve. “That’s exactly what it is. ..I just feel bad for her. I feel sorry for her, because she doesn’t understand.”
Durant insists he’s proud of the UNITERRUPTED interview he and James conducted and says critics like Ingraham won’t stop him from trying to make positive changes in society.
“Ignorance is something I try to ignore,” he said. “That was definitely an ignorant comment. I do play basketball, but I am a civilian and I am a citizen of the United States, so my voice is just as loud as hers, I think – or even louder. I can’t focus on that. I think we’re doing some good things out here, using our platform. … My whole thing is I can’t dwell on that, and I can’t let that distract me from the real goal at hand, which is to continue to encourage and empower people around the world.
Durant also vows to continue voicing his opinions on non-basketball matters.
“I’m still going to be a citizen here in the US when I’m done playing basketball, and my voice still doesn’t matter at that point?,” Durant asked. “I don’t play basketball 24 hours a day. I live in this world, just like everybody else. I don’t get what she’s saying, but I know what she’s trying to say.”
Having aired his views on the Ingraham dispute, Durant now will go back to dribbling in preparation for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will take place Sunday in Los Angeles at Staples Center.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images