When Basketball and Soccer Collide

LeBron James Vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

As we all know by now, every major sports league has done their part to raise awareness regarding racial inequality and unrest. Along with the leagues themselves, star athletes in each major sport have used their platform to speak out for those who are treated unfairly each and every day.

LeBron James is one of the main athletes that uses his global platform and celebrity status to speak out about these issues. In the past, he has been told to ‘Shut up and dribble’ by media members. Those comments only fueled his fire when it comes to speaking his mind about issues that go on around the world. Whether they are political, racial, or somewhere in between, you can alway count on LeBron James to have a say in it.

Just last week however, yet another individual has challenged LeBron’s voice when it comes to politics. Many still think the NBA star should keep his opinions to himself and worry about his play on the court. Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is one of the best Soccer players in the world had this to say regarding LeBron’s freedom of speech;

Zlatan said ‘[LeBron James] is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like it when people with some kind of status and they do politics at the same time as what they’re doing. I mean, do what you are good at’

These comments caught the attention of LeBron who came out with a statement of his own.

LeBron said ‘There’s now way I would ever just stick to sports because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is.’

Zlatan is free to have his opinion just like anybody else, however, he should have kept his mouth shut on this one. LeBron is one of the most active athletes when it comes to using his voice to talk about issues that go on around the world. Just because he is one of the greatest to ever do it in his sport does not mean he should be silent when it comes to the world around him. As much as I am a LeBron hater… I respect him to no end. With what he does both on and off the court.

Nobody will ever tell LeBron what he can and cannot do. Not the media and certainly not Zlatan. LeBron will continue to use his voice, his following and his platform to speak out on issues that arise and rightfully so.

Zlatan then doubled-down his previous comment with a return statement,

He said ‘Athletes should be athletes and politicians should do politics.’

Bottom line is that Zlatan is barking up the wrong tree. I think it would be best if he kept those comments to himself as this is a battle he will not win.