LeBron James hasn’t even played for the Lakers yet, but he’s already been extremely busy in Hollywood. That’s right, LeBron has been taking major steps into the television industry.
James is behind a brand new three-part documentary series, “Shut Up and Dribble,” announced Monday by Showtime.
According to the information that was released about the upcoming series. It is set to debut in October, the same month James suits up for his new team, and the series looks at the changing role of athletes in the current political and cultural climate against the backdrop of the NBA.
Its title comes from a comment Fox News host Laura Ingraham made about James in February when she sought to rebuke him for talking politics during an interview. The phrase “Shut Up And Dribble” became a life of it’s own and has been embraced by athletes who want to speak out and have a voice.
James is the executive producer of the series along with business partner Maverick Carter and agent Rich Paul. Gotham Chopra, who directed Showtime’s “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” in 2015, helmed the project.
“It’s really an exploration of how basketball is truly America’s game and the NBA has been a vessel for black athletes to claim pieces of the American dream,” Chopra told ESPN.
Here is what we also know. The series traces the modern history of the league and its players, starting with the 1976 merger of the freewheeling American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association, exploring how the top players have expanded their reach off the court in fields such as business and fashion while becoming icons in the process.
James has another show, “The Shop,” debuting Aug. 28 on HBO, in which he leads conversation and debate among his guests in barbershops around the country.
A lot of people have differing opinions on this subject. Make no mistake about it – there are plenty of people who do in fact believe that athletes should “shut up and dribble” so to speak. A lot of fans do not want to hear about what athletes think on social issues or politics.
On the other hand, a lot do care. A lot of people criticized the great Michael Jordan because he never used his platform to speak about issues in the community. A lot of people praise LeBron James for using his huge platform to try and inflict change.
There is a healthy balance in my opinion. We are all Americans and have a right to express our opinion on social/political issues. But I also understand that people use sports as an escape from all that and do not want to have these two worlds cross paths.
I have no problem if athletes give their opinions, but I also don’t think they should be pushing their views on fans who just want to watch a game. It’s great to be active in your community, but I don’t like getting in the business of scolding or judging other people for having different opinions than your own.
LeBron’s new series should be really interesting and full of thought provoking dialogue.