Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James took time in his post-game presser to address the recent comments made by AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic who criticized James’ social activism, saying the comments were hypocritical.
James also said that there is no way he will ever just stick to sports.
Ibrahimovic said that James and other “famous” people getting involved in politics was a “mistake” and “doesn’t look good”, during an interview with UEFA for Discovery+ in Sweden back on Thursday.
“He was the same guy who said when he was back in Sweden … because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, that he felt there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch,” James said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I speak from a very educated mind, so I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.”
“I would never shut up about things that are wrong,” James continued. “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 was 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. ”
“It makes me feel proud to be a part of a generation where our voices are heard and guys are speaking from an educated mindset,” James said. “But more importantly, when you speak from your heart, it rings bells even louder.
“And we’ve got a lot of guys speaking from the heart that didn’t believe they had a voice at one point in time, or now they’re coming into it and they see that they can have a voice and that their voice really matters. That makes me proud.”
“As athletes, we’ve been hearing this for a long time,” James said. “You should [feel] privileged. You should be thankful to be able to dribble a ball or run a football or be able to do the 100-yard dash or be able to swing a baseball bat and things of that nature. You shouldn’t be able to speak about anything else, no matter if it’s right or wrong, you should just do that. But that’s not the case. That’s not the case anymore. As long as I’m around, it won’t be the case for a long time.”