Shut Up and Dribble

A look at the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment, through the lens of the NBA.


Actor:Jemele Hill






Season 1 - Shut Up and Dribble
"Prompted by Laura Ingraham\u2019s public criticism of LeBron James and other NBA players' outspokenness on the current political climate, the first episode is an exploration of the league\u2019s social and cultural influence across time. Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson risked their careers and paved the way for generations of future players. Julius \u201cDr. J\u201d Erving\u2019s style of play laid the groundwork for Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (and David Stern) to catapult the NBA into an era of higher visibility and prosperity."
"1984 brought the arrival of the one and only Michael Jordan. MJ breaks barriers when his out-of-context quote, \u201cRepublicans buy sneakers too\u201d becomes a signature declaration for a generation of players. In the wake of the Rodney King riots in L.A., two black players, Craig Hodges and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, make their voices heard and pay the price. Allen Iverson rises and becomes a trendsetter unlike anyone before him, even though his defiant style on the court gets him only so far in the NBA."
"The very public brawl known as \u201cMalice in the Palace\u201d is the catalyst for new NBA rules. But it is also an opportunity for players to own their brands and create both social and financial equity for themselves. The NBA begins its transition to a \u201cplayers\u2019 league,\u201d with players reaching unprecedented levels of economic and cultural influence. The murders of Trayvon Martin and Erik Garner create a chance for NBA players to stand up and be heard. In the present turbulent political era, players are now unwilling to just \u201cshut up and dribble.\""