After leaving ESPN last week Jemele Hill, the fiery former reporter whose commentary about Donald Trump landed her in hot water, has landed an exciting new opportunity as the voice of LeBron James’ Shut Up and Dribble Showtime documentary.
Hill was tapped to narrate the long-awaited sports docu-series, breaking from the tradition of hearing men dominate as the choice of voiceovers.
“Lately LeBron has talked about gender and wanting to uplift and position black women in particular,” Hill told The Hollywood Reporter.. “I get the sense that this is all part of that. He was raised by a black woman, he is married to a black woman and he is raising a black woman (daughter Zhuri, 3). If you look at the societal ladder, black women remain on the lowest rung. He clearly understands that we are facing a unique battle. It means a lot that he understands the intricacies of that.”
Hill has made a name for herself in a male-dominated business first as a sports writer and journalist for the Raleigh News & Observer and then the Detroit Free Press). Hill didn’t mince words or sit quiet either when it came to voicing her dismay over the violent Charlottesville, Va and her criticism of President Trump’s handling of it. When she became the target of racists, James spoke up for her.
“Once you’re in the club,” she says, “it’s something that binds you.”
“I think LeBron, like a lot of people, has been very frustrated by the behavior of this administration,” Hill tells The Hollywood Reporter. “[Black Americans] feel very insulted and vulnerable within this time because of who’s in charge.”
Shut Up and Dribble will premiere on Showtime in November and will be a three-part docu-series described as “an inside look at the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment, through the lens of the NBA.
The title comes from the dustup caused when Fox News deplorable, Laura Ingraham, made some insulting statements about King James and his activism a few months back.
“Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids,” Ingraham said on her show. “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred-million dollars a year to bounce a ball.”
James responded with his own hashtag — #wewillnotshutupanddribble — and asserted, “I am more than an athlete.”
He has done more than prove that fact on numerous occasions, particularly last week when he opened a school in Akron Ohio that puts this country’s education system to shame.
The I Promise School is the culmination of nearly a decade of work by the foundation, with its focus on educating children from challenging backgrounds who need and desire additional educational support. The school will begin with two grades – third and fourth – with plans to expand in the coming years.
Since the the I Promise School has a longer school day and school year, more than 40 staff members have been recruited to accelerate the development of children who qualify for the program based on performance and socioeconomic factors.