Kobe Bryant is now an Academy Award winner! The five-time NBA champ took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short for the film he wrote, Dear Basketball. During the Sunday, March 4, show, he used his moment to take a dig at Fox News.
“I don’t know if it’s possible, as basketball players we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble. I’m glad we do a little bit more than that. Thank you, Academy, for this amazing honor,” Bryant, 39, said, alongside director Glen Keane. “Thank you, John Williams for such a wonderful piece of music. Thank you, Verizon for believing in the film. Thank you, Molly Carter. Without you we wouldn’t be here and to my wife Vanessa and to our daughters Natalia, Gianna and Bianka … you are my inspiration.”
In February, Fox News host Laura Ingraham made headlines when she said that NBA pro LeBron James shouldn’t speak about politics. “Must they run their mouths like that?” she said on her talk show The Ingraham Angle on February 15. “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. Keep the political commentary to yourself. Or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”
Following his win, Bryant addressed his comments in the press room. “I think everybody wants to approach things in whatever position that is comfortable for them. I think for us, not just athletes, but we have ability to speak up for what we believe in,” he told reporters. “Whether you’re a professional athlete or not, actor or not. You still have the ability to speak up about what you believe in. This is the democracy we live in, that’s what makes America beautiful.”
Following Bryant’s win, James showed support on Twitter, writing, “Salute @kobebryant on that Oscar!! #WeAreMoreThanShutUpDribble #UJustContinueToSitBackAndWatch”
Former NBA star Shaq also tweeted his congratulations. “Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol,” he wrote.