Zlatan Ibrahimovic has doubled down on his criticism of LeBron James and athletes who speak out about politics and current affairs.
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Speaking in a press conference for the San Remo music festival in Italy, Ibrahimovic had this to say about his recent comments regarding LeBron James.
“Athletes unite the world, politics divide it,” Ibrahimovic said. “Our role is to unite the world by doing what we do best. Athletes should be athletes and politicians should do politics.”
Last week LeBron James had hit back at Ibrahimovic, after initial comments from the AC Milan striker told the NBA superstar to ‘stay out of it’ when it comes to politics and that he should ‘do what you’re best at’ because it doesn’t look good to be outspoken.
Zlatan, 39, is often outspoken and his comments reached LeBron James.
Here was part of LeBron’s response last week.
“I will never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people, 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, seeing things that were going on, and I know it is going on still,” James said.
Zlatan believes LeBron should stay out of politics. pic.twitter.com/MKkZbMlzCW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 26, 2021
The LA Lakers star was defiant as he said he has ‘300 plus kids at my school who need a voice’ and he is their voice, plus he was also generally confused about Zlatan’s comments.
“There is no way I will ever stick to sports because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is…” James said. “It’s funny he said that because I believe he was the same guy in 2018, when he was back in Sweden, talking about the same things because his last name wasn’t a certain last name. That he felt like there was racism going on when he was out on the pitch. I speak from a very educated mind. I’m kind of the wrong guy to go at because I do my homework.”
LeBron James definitely did his homework
LeBron James got it spot on when being confused as to why Zlatan previously spoke about racism, but is now saying athletes should not speak about such topics.
Here is what Zlatan said in 2018 when it came to his thoughts on racial stereotypes in his homeland of Sweden.
“What does the Swedish media do? They defend me or do they jump on and attack me? They still attack me, because they cannot accept that I am Ibrahimovic. If another player would do same mistake I do, they would defend him. But when it comes to me, they don’t defend me. This is about racism. This is about racism. I don’t say there is racism but I say there is undercover racism. This exists, I am 100 percent sure. Because I am not Andersson or Svensson. If I would be that, trust me, they would defend me even if I would rob a bank. They would defend me, I tell you,” Ibrahimovic said.
Here is the full response to Zlatan Ibrahimovic from LeBron James:
"I have 300+ kids at my school who need a voice and I'm their voice…I'm the wrong guy to go at, I do my homework." @KingJames weighs in on the recent comments made by soccer superstar @Ibra_official that people should "do what they're good at" and "stay out of politics". pic.twitter.com/Scfp6HhnP2
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 27, 2021