LeBron James responds to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: ‘There’s no way I will ever just stick to sports’

Orlando Magic hosts the LA Lakers at the Amway Center in Orlando Forida on Wednesday December 11, 2019. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

The Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 102-93 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Like he has been for nearly every game in his NBA career, LeBron James was at the center of the action, recording 28 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks in the win. Afterward, though, James reminded everyone that he is more than a basketball player. 

James was asked about recent comments made by soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic that essentially posited that athletes, including James, should “stick to sports.” 

“(LeBron) is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” Ibrahimovic said in a recent interview with UEFA for Discovery+ in Sweden. “Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do. I play football because I’m the best at playing football. I don’t do politics. If I would be a political politician, I would do politics.

“That is the big first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status.” he continued Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good.”

“I would never shut up about things that’s wrong,” James said when asked about Ibrahimovic’s comments.

“I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community,” James said. “Because I was a part of my community at one point and seeing the things that was going on and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that’s going through the same thing and they need a voice. And I’m their voice. I’m their voice and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that may be going on not only in my community but around this country and around the world. 

“There’s no way I will ever just stick to sports because I understand how this platform … how powerful my voice is.”  

Ibrahimovic, 39, currently plays for A.C. Milan in Serie A. He played for Major League Soccer’s Galaxy in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.


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