Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs LeBron James ‘Stick to Sports’ Controversy: Facts You Need To Know

Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic said that athletes like LA Lakers star LeBron James should stay out of political issues and stick to sports. James quickly slammed Ibrahimovic for his comments.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Attacks LeBron James

Video: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Tells LeBron James To Stick To Sports

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Told LeBron James To Stick To Sports. “Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t believe Lakers star LeBron James and other athletes should engage in politics, saying in a recent interview that they should “stay out of it.” “[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 told 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.” [SI]

Video: LeBron James Responds To Zlatan Ibrahimovic

LeBron Responds: “No Way I Would Ever Just Stick To Sports.” “LeBron would have none of that, speaking to reporters after the Lakers win over the Trail Blazers Friday. “I would never shut up about things that’s wrong. 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. “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’ll use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that’s going on around this country and around the world. “There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.”” [NBC Sports]

Ibrahimovic Hypocrisy

LeBron Pointed Out That Ibrahimovic Called Out Racism In The Past. “James also made it clear he was aware of comments made in 2018 by Ibrahimovic, the Swedish-born son of a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother. “He’s the guy who said in Sweden, he was talking about the same things, because his last name wasn’t a (traditional Swedish) last name, he felt like there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch,” James said. “I speak from a very educated mind. I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at, because I do my homework.”” [AP]

Ibrahimovic Criticized “Undercover Racism” In Sweden. “Several years ago, Ibrahimovic said he was subject to “undercover racism” in his native Sweden because his Bosnian roots gave him a surname that doesn’t sound traditionally Swedish. “I am not Andersson or Svensson,” Ibrahimovic told Canal+ in 2018, referring to what he considered racist treatment from the media. “If I would be that, trust me, they would defend me even if I would rob a bank. They would defend me, I tell you.”” [ESPN]

James Supports Social Justice Causes

LeBron Uses His Fame To Fight For Social Justice. “James has been a force for social change in America, focusing much of his attention on police brutality and racial injustice against African Americans. He was outspoken about the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last summer, against Donald Trump, and he worked with other NBA stars to try and get Black people out to vote during the recent US election that brought Joe Biden to power.” [Yahoo]

Conservatives Have Criticized LeBron’s Activism. “James’ longtime activism on racial justice issues and his criticism of Trump prompted white Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham in 2018 to tell him and fellow black NBA player Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble”.” [Guardian]

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