US basketball star LeBron James reacted harshly to the comments of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Friday, after the latter said that “the king” cannot be as influential outside the basketball courts as he does inside it, revealing his political dealings.
The Los Angeles Lakers star is an influential figure in American society as one of the advocates of radical change, while focusing his efforts and concerns on the harshness of police treatment and racial injustice towards black people.
James raised his voice after Jacob Blake (an African-American) was shot dead by a police officer in Wisconsin last summer, stood up to former President Donald Trump, and worked with several NBA stars to get black people to vote heavily in the last US election, which Joe Biden won.
“I’m the wrong person to mess with because I’m doing my job,”James said after his team’s 102-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
James responded to the statements of Milan’s Italian star ” Ibra “who considered that athletes should” stay out of politics”, mentioning the name James and asking him to stop his political activities.
“(LeBron) is visible in what he’s doing, but I don’t like when people have an aura, they’re dealing with politics at the same time,”the Swedish goalie said.
Ibrahimovic’s remarks came during an interview with UEFA on Sweden’s Discovery Channel, adding that it was “wrong” for athletes to tread outside their borders.
“I don’t deal with politics. It’s the first mistake people make when they become celebrities and within an aura. Stay out of this frame. Just do what you do better because it doesn’t look good”.
James had helped establish the more than a Vote organization that boosted voter turnout in predominantly African-American areas.
Recruited this area more than 40 thousand volunteers to work at the polls during the federal election held in November 2020.
James asserts that winning titles is important, but influencing, inspiring people and uniting Americans is just a reward.
He says, ” Ultimately I don’t shut up about the wrong things. I preach about my people and I preach about equality and social justice, racism and voter suppression. Things happen in our community.”