Basketball superstar LeBron James has fired back at AC Milan footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic following the striker’s recent criticism.
Often known for his relentless and outspoken nature, James, who continually tries to raise awareness on issues such as racism, has drawn criticism from one of football’s biggest names.
Speaking in a recent interview, Ibrahimovic criticised James for his public stance on politics, claiming the LA Lakers star should stick to what he’s good at.
“I like him [James] a lot. He’s phenomenal, but I don’t like when people with a status speak about politics. Do what you’re good at doing,” Ibrahimovic told UEFA and Discovery+ in Sweden (as quoted by Sky Sports).
“I play football because I’m the best playing football. I’m no politician. If I’d been a politician, I would be doing politics.
“This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re good doing, otherwise you risk doing something wrongly.”
Following his team’s recent win over the Trail Blazers on Friday night, James has fired back at the AC Milan superstar’s recent comments.
“I would never shut up about things that are wrong,” James said (as quoted by ESPN). “I preach about my people, and I preach about equality. Social injustice. Racism. Systematic voter suppression. Things that go on in our community.
“Because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that were going on, and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are 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.
“So, there’s no way I would ever just stick to sports because I understand how this platform and how powerful my voice is.”
The pair’s recent rivalry will shock sport’s fans all around the world – Seen as icons in their respective fields, James and Ibrahimovic’s off-field clash is undoubtedly surprising to see.
LeBron responded after Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticized him for his activism.
“I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.” pic.twitter.com/VyKgBrYuiz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 27, 2021