Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James revealed on Instagram Live that he is no longer a Dallas Cowboys fan and instead roots for the Cleveland Browns.
James explained that the decision by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem factored into his decision to not support the team.
LeBron James said on Instagram Live that he is no longer a #Cowboys fan because he can no longer morally support the team after ownership prevented the players from kneeling during the National Anthem.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 28, 2022
“I had to get out on the Cowboys, man,” James said. “There was just a lot of things going on during the – you know when guys were kneeling and guys were – freedom of speech and wanted to do it in a very peaceful manner. And a lot of people in they front office and a lot of people that ran the organization was like, ‘If you do that around here, then you will never play for this franchise again.’
“And I just didn’t think that was appropriate.”
James did say that he likes a lot of the players on the team still, mentioning wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, running back Ezekiel Elliott and star defenders Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs.
Despite that, James has transitioned to fully supporting Cleveland’s NFL team.
“I’m all in on the Browns,” James said.
During the 2017 season, Jones told the media that players who disrespected the flag would no longer be allowed to play for Dallas.
Jerry Jones just said any Cowboys player who "disrespects the flag" won't be allowed to play.
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) October 9, 2017
That rubbed some fans the wrong way, including James, as the Dallas owner was limiting their freedom of expression in a peaceful protest.
Jones was adamant that his players stand for the flag during the national anthem. While many other teams allowed players to protest, Jones put his own players in a tough spot when it came to expressing their personal beliefs.
Jerry Jones: "We cannot in anyway give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) October 9, 2017
The Cowboys lost a major supporter in James because of it, but now the Lakers star is supporting his hometown squad. A four-time NBA champion, James broke Cleveland’s lengthy professional sports title drought by leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a title in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Maybe the Browns can find their way to a title with James supporting them, although this season has gotten off to a rough start with the team sitting at 2-5 through its first seven games.
James and the Lakers are also off to a slow start in their season, failing to win in their first four contests. The team will look to turn things around on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers and Sacramento Kings are the only two Western Conference teams that remain without a win this season.
James may have dropped his support for the Cowboys, but they have been solid so far in the 2022 campaign, going 5-2 through their first seven matchups. With Dak Prescott returning from a thumb injury last week, Dallas is in a great spot to make a playoff push this season.
Prescott missed five games after injuring his thumb in the team’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.