LeBron James responds to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's claims he should 'stay out' of politics

Ross Jackson
LeBron James has hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic
LeBron James has hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Public spats between sports stars is nothing new in the 21st century, however, two icons from completely different sporting worlds clashing heads is far from the norm.

So what is it that basketball star LeBron James has done that's irked Zlatan Ibrahimovic so much that he felt the need to call him out? Ohhhhh he's tried to make the world a better place...yeah good on you Zlatan, shoot that down asap....

James is one of basketball's leading voices in the fight against racial inequality and police brutality - a red hot topic in the world right now - but AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic has hit out at the LA Lakers man, claiming he should 'stay out of it'.

It's fair to say the comments haven't been warmly received by James, and he's bit back at the suggestions he should just concentrate on his own game.

“I will never shut up about things that are wrong," he told reporters (as reported by Goal). "I preach about my people and I preach about equality. Social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community.

The AC Milan star has never been afraid to voice his opinion
The AC Milan star has never been afraid to voice his opinion / Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

"I was part of my community, I’ve seen the things that are going on. I have a group of 300-plus kids in my school that are going through the same thing and they need a voice. I am their voice and I use my platform to shed light on things that are going on, not only in my community but around this country and around the world.

"There is no way I will ever just stick to sports because I know with this platform, how powerful my voice is. You can ask Renee Montgomery [former WNBA player and now part-owner of Atlanta Dream] if I had just shut up and dribbled. Seeing that beautiful black woman today become a part of an ownership group now with the Atlanta Dream.

"It’s funny that he’s [Ibrahimovic] said that because I believe back in 2018 he’s the same guy who said that when he was back in Sweden, he was talking about the same things. Because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, he felt like there was some racism going on while he was out on the pitch… right?

"He did say that, right? Yeah. I thought he said that. I speak from a very educated mind. I’m the wrong guy to go at because I do my homework."

Marcus Rashford is another sportsman who has involved himself in off-field matters
Marcus Rashford is another sportsman who has involved himself in off-field matters / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

James was quick to stress that his involvement in such matters has no impact on his career as a professional athlete, and his status as one of basketball's biggest stars offers him the platform to help others.

"I still know what I do on the floor and obviously, I give everything to the game," he added.

"But I can make a greater impact off the floor right now, more than I can on the floor. And I want to continue to inspire people with the way I play the game of basketball. But there’s so many more things that I can do off the floor to help cultivate people, inspire people, bring people together, empower them."