Showtime has released the a teaser trailer for their upcoming documentary series Shut Up and Dribble. The series, which is named after the phrase uttered by Fox News host Laura Ingraham in response to LeBron James criticizing Donald Trump, takes a look at NBA players, past and present, who have used their platform to help bring about social change. James will serve as executive producer, along with his longtime friends and members of the SpringHill Entertainment team, Maverick Carter and Rich Paul.
The brief 15-second clip gives us a glimpse into what we can expect to see explored by the four-part docu-series. The video starts with Jemele Hill speaking about how sports have always been a hub for getting the word out regarding issues going on off the court. "Sports has been a place for social and political movements," Hill said. "It always has been."
The clip transitions over to the images of NBA players wearing the black shirts with "I Can’t Breathe" written in white lettering during shootaround. The attire was referencing the final words uttered 11 times by Eric Garner when an officer applied a chokehold in July of 2014. Garner was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital soon after.
Despite claims from authorities that they were acting in self-defense, a medical examiner determined that Garner’s death was ruled a homicide due to "compression of neck, compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." The shirts represented a clear sign that some players wanted to use their platform to create a dialogue around police brutality.
"The controversy [Ingraham's comments] serves as a prologue to the series as it chronicles the modern history of the NBA and its players, starting with the 1976 merger of the freewheeling ABA and the more conventional NBA," Showtime said in a press release. "The league soon became an incubator for many of its top athletes to grow their brands beyond the court, becoming powerful players in commerce and fashion, and transcending the game to become cultural icons. Shut Up and Dribble charts this evolution through the experience of basketball players, who by taking control of their own destinies have helped to bring about social change and make their own statements in the current political climate."
Check out the teaser trailer for Shut Up and Dribble above.