Kevin Durant is a phenomenal basketball player, an NBA Finals MVP, Olympic gold medalist, and a nine-time NBA All-Star. His resume challenges some of the best in the sport. To some, that's all he is.

Those who choose to take a closer look, however, see a different Durant. They see a tech investor, a philanthropist, a family man, an exceptional role model, and a cultural icon.

The danger of the 'shut up and dribble' narrative

Recently, Fox News host Laura Ingraham nearly crashed internet servers worldwide with one statement. On her highly-opinionated show, she decried that Durant and fellow NBA superstar LeBron James should "shut up and dribble" after they made critical comments about President Trump in a recent interview.

Here's the video of her piping hot take:

Ingraham's comments immediately drew ire from people around the world and from various backgrounds, cultures, and occupations. Obviously, the racial optics alone were enough to cause an uproar —middle-aged white woman attacks two black professional athletes for expressing their strong opinions.

But for me, the much broader issue (regardless of race) is the perpetuation of the "dumb jock" stereotype that prevails in our society.

The Laura Ingraham's of the world try to suck the public influence from the Kevin Durant's by reducing them to their exceptional athletic talents. In other words, to people of this problematic mindset, athletes should only be heard or seen within the lines of their respective sport.

The same people don't care to shed light on how exemplary a role model Durant is as a public figure.

He's never been in any legal trouble or controversy and has flawlessly supported his single mother and loving family. They're the same folks that are silent on the details his recent business ventures in the tech industry and are just as reticent regarding his multi-million dollar philanthropic efforts.

Durant's positive influence on society

Recently, a report by Thomas Heath detailing Durant's propensity to give to the less fortunate gained national traction.

The 29-year-old global star has donated $10 million to Prince George's County Public Schools in his Maryland hometown.

Already a success in California, Colorado, and Louisiana, his donation will bring the College Track program to the East Coast for the first time. The program provides first-generation college hopefuls with the tools they need to achieve their scholastic goals.

Over a 10-year span, the kids will get access to resources like test prep and financial aid education that is readily available to high-income households.

Haven't heard this story yet? I'm not surprised.

It's not as clickbaity as a white news anchor belittling black athletes on national airwaves. But, Durant's generosity and desire to make the country better through equality, is exactly the headline Americans need. As Heath (a white male) pointed out in the article, he could've benefitted from the program as he didn't grow up poor, but his family "wasn't the country club set, either."

As a fellow first-generation college graduate, I, too, relate with both Durant, Heath and thousands of others who've lived through the challenges of lack of resources and mentoring.

To some degree, I still suffer from those challenges. It'll be a pleasure to track what type of impact this program will have on one of the worst school systems in the U.S.

The more Durant's we have as opposed to Ingraham's, the closer our nation will be to reaching its' unlimited potential.

So yes, Kevin Durant is a phenomenal basketball player. But let's hope he continues refusing to 'shut up and dribble.'