Zlatan Ibrahimovic rips LeBron James: ‘I don’t like when people with a ‘status’ speak about politics’

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

International soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a great deal of respect for the basketball skills of LeBron James, but wishes the Los Angeles Lakers star would refrain from remarking on political concerns.

Ibrahimovic, who’s a striker for A.C. Milan, spoke to UEFA and Discovery+ Sweden to express his opinion that athletes in general should shy away from delving into issues involving politics and cited James as an example.

“He’s phenomenal, but I don’t like when people with a ‘status’ speak about politics. Do what you’re good doing,” Ibrahimovic said. “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.”

Early in James’ career, he largely followed that idea, but over the past decade has become a very vocal presence on a variety of topics, especially those connected to African-American issues.

James has also stoked plenty of controversy by very prominently attacking former President Donald Trump on a variety of matters. That’s led to some Trump supporters lobbing their own criticisms at James.

Now in his 18th NBA season, James’ prominence within the NBA guarantees that he’ll continued to be asked his opinion when it comes to political matters. It’s not likely that he’ll follow the advice of Ibrahimovic, given that the continuing issues within the United States continue to strike a deep chord with the veteran.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.