Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James used media day at the NBA All-Star weekend to sarcastically thank radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham for her comments after he and Kevin Durant criticised United States president Donald Trump.
James and Golden State Warriors star Durant were criticised by Ingraham after the pair hit out at Trump in a video via Uninterrupted.
Ingraham told the duo to "shut up and dribble" the basketball as Durant accused her of racism.
"I appreciate her for giving me even more awareness, at the greatest weekend of the NBA," James, who is one of the team captains for Sunday's All-Star game, said at Staples Center on Saturday. "This is the best weekend of the NBA, when the countries in the whole entire world come watch the greatest players in the world.
"I get to sit up here and talk about social injustice and equality and why a woman on a certain network decided to tell me to 'Shut up and dribble. 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, England, Mexico and all over."
James corrected Ingraham, who said the three-time NBA champion tried to leave high school a year early to enter the NBA, by saying he actually did graduate from high school.
"We're back to everything I've been talking about over the last few years," James said. "It lets me know that everything I've been saying has been correct, for her to have that type of reaction. But we will definitely not shut up and dribble. I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society. I mean too much to the youth. I meant too much to so many kids who feel like they don't have a way out and need someone to help lead them out of the situation they're in.
"You know, to be an African-American kid and grow up in the inner city with a single parent, mother, and not being financially stable and to make it where I've made it today, I think I've defeated the odds."
Ingraham's comments about James and Durant were criticised as racist because she has been silent when white NBA coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr have often been critical of Trump's administration.
She defended her "shut up and dribble" segment and even invited James on her show "anytime."
"Do I feel like her comments were racist? Well, listen, race is a part of our country, and we know that. I think the engine that she sits behind doesn't have a great rap sheet when it comes to race in our country and things of that nature," James said. "There's been many people that's not African-American that spoke upon the same issues that I spoke upon, and they didn't say anything to them. So you can look at it as being racist or you could look at it saying it's just racial tension, which we already know that. That goes without saying.
"I don't think we sit here and say, 'Oh, she's racist or that's racial tension,' I'm surprised. We know that was going on. I'm just trying to shed a greater light and a positive light on the bad aura or the energy that some of the people are trying to give to the people of America and to the world.
"I'm not the negative side. Me having this platform, I'm just trying to shed a positive light on what I feel like is right. Am I always right? Can I have everybody follow me? I don't think so. But I'm looking at my boys right here, teaching them what's right and what's wrong, and we see what happens after that."
|Barcelona angered by Pique´s involvement in Griezmann saga|
|Federer begins Halle defence with comfortable Bedene win|
|Tabarez not worried by slow Suarez start|
|Brazil´s Neymar felt pain in his ankle, CBF confirms|
|Griezmann understands Atletico fans´ nerves over Barcelona speculation|
|Queiroz salutes Hierro for uniting Spain|
|Stump from Scotland´s defeat of England auctioned for charity|
|Red Bull will not have works team label, confirm Honda|
|Neymar hobbles out of Brazil World Cup training|
|Ronaldo´s revelry, Messi´s miss and Sanchez´s shocker - Russia 2018, World Cup of the penalty|
|Brazil ask FIFA to explain VAR decisions against Switzerland|
|Colombia 1 Japan 2: Sanchez red spoils Pekerman´s plans|
|Argentina v Croatia: Mercado wants an end to ´Messidependencia´|
|Hoffenheim director suggests €50m bid could land Kramaric|
|England will emerge as a ´champion team´, insists Jones|
|Ryder Cup teams shaping up great, says Strange|
|We cannot replace Iniesta – Abidal|
|Colombia´s Sanchez sees second-quickest World Cup red card|
|France v Peru: Varane and Les Bleus calm after unconvincing start|
|Semenya challenges IAAF hyperandrogenism rule with CAS|
|No Germany line-up changes needed, says Neuer|
|James absent from Colombia line-up|
|Alli to have scan on thigh knock after England win|
|Mooy not using World Cup to facilitate transfer from Huddersfield|
|Billy Vunipola a big loss for England, says Vermeulen|
|´Incredible´ Firmino works like a defender, says Mane|
|Jackson and Olding could make Ireland returns|
|Stokes and Woakes ruled out of T20I matches|
|Denmark v Australia: Socceroos confident of reaching last 16|
|Argentina should have selected Icardi for the World Cup, Zanetti claims|
|Except for Messi, Croatia are better than Argentina - Kovacic|
|I chose Real Madrid over PSG and Barcelona – Vinicius Junior|
|Germany should drop Ozil - Effenberg|
|Anything is possible with Tiger - Strange backs Woods revival despite U.S. Open misery|
|Fekir won´t offer Liverpool update, despite meeting Aulas|
|Southgate aims to repeat ´perfect´ preparation for Panama|
|Coleman ready for crucial Sydney clash|
|Prior to make Origin debut in Sydney|
|Secretive space capital Samara opens its doors as World Cup rolls into town|
|Red Bull confirm Honda switch|
|Arzani has a big future, says ´surprised´ Jakobsen|
|Goalkeepers are the victims of FIFA - Talking balls at Russia 2018|
|Mexico boss backs Lozano for Premier League move|
|Yankees, Nationals split unconventional doubleheader|
|Southgate praises Maguire´s performance|
|The only thing Kane hasn´t done is score in August - Southgate|
|Fenerbahce part ways with Kocaman|
|Celtics forward Hayward expected to be fully cleared by August|
|Nationals acquire closer Herrera from Royals|
|Angels star Ohtani to be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks|
|Crisis club Sporting appoint Mihajlovic|
|Fekir could still join Liverpool this summer - agent|
|Brathwaithe and weather thwart Sri Lanka|
|Southgate bemused by England-Tunisia penalty decisions|
|Kane disappointed by refereeing decisions despite England win|
|Koepka backed by coach to win more majors|
|Rybarikova ousts Pliskova in Birmingham, seeds fail in Mallorca|
|Kane: England players had flies in our mouths|
|Lemar signs Atletico deal|
|Griezmann renews Atletico Madrid contract after rejecting Barcelona|
|Captain Kane comes good to heighten England´s aura of optimism|
|Wawrinka and Cilic cruise through at Queen´s|
|Saudi Arabia team safe after aircraft´s ´technical failure´|
|Courtois: Panama made unnecessary tackles|
|Thiem makes winning start on Halle grass|
|Tunisia 1 England 2: Captain Kane saves Three Lions|
|Trotz resigns as Capitals coach after Stanley Cup win|
|You´ll see the best of Hazard later - Eden predicts strong World Cup|
|Mickelson made statement over ´outrageous´ conditions, says Cowen|
|France will grow again - former coach Saint-Andre sees positive signs for Les Bleus|