“Does politics interfere with football?” Discussions continue between basketball star LeBron James and Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
LeBron did not remain silent in the words of James Ibrahimovic “Stay away from politics.”
In a television interview, Ibrahimovic said sports figures such as James “should not get involved in politics” and “did not look good.”
“I will never be silent about what I saw wrong,” James replied.
Referring to Ibrahimovic’s criticism of racism in Sweden, James said, “I’m the contagious wrong person … I’m doing my homework.”
In interviews with the Swedish channel Discovery +, Ibrahimovic criticized the political activity of the stars in sports and commented:
“Do what you can. Do what you do in the category you work in. I play football, because the best thing I do is play football, I’m not a politician. If I were a politician, I would do politics.
“This is the first mistake that celebrities make after becoming famous and gaining a certain status. I think it’s better to avoid certain issues, do your best, because otherwise it won’t look good.”
‘Sports will not satisfy me’
After LA Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, James’ response to Ibrahimovic was also made clear:
“I will never be silent about what is wrong. I am talking about my people, equality, social injustice, racism, the systematic oppression of voters, what is happening in our society.
“I will never be content with just one sport because I am aware of how strong this platform and my voice are.”
James said he saw Ibrahimovic’s statements as ‘confusing’ because football stars often made anti-racist remarks:
“He was the one who spoke on the same topics in Sweden. He said he felt some racism when his last name appeared because it was not a traditional Swedish surname.”
In an interview with French Channel + in 2018, Ibrahimovic said he did not see the same treatment as other Swedish footballers, adding: “This is a racist issue. I’m not saying it’s racism, but I’m saying it’s covert racism.”
Speaking to the BBC in December, Ibrahimovic again criticized racism in football.
In January, Ibrahimovic denied criticism of the use of racist language against Belgian black Romelu Lukaku, who played for Inter Milan, and wrote on Twitter that “there is no place for racism in Zlatan’s world.”
LeBron James also received some criticism of his political activism earlier.
LeBron James has faced former US President Donald Trump for kneeling in protest of systematic racism.
Fox News reporter Laura Ingraham told LeBron James, “Shut up and drive the ball.”
39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been playing football for almost 20 years, is known as one of the best strikers in the world.
LeBron James, a 36-year-old American, is also considered one of the best players in NBA history.