Sport LeBron James responds to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, calls out soccer player's hypocrisy
Are Ibrahimovic and Lukaku arguing again in the Milan derby?
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku go to the Milan stadium, the two footballers are reminded of their cup dispute. © Antonio Calanni / AP / dpa Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku clashed in January. The Swede Ibrahimovic, who plays for AC Milan, and the Belgian Lukaku, who is under contract with Inter, stood head to head in the arena in January and insulted each other. The tatters flew in Inter's 2-1 victory. Photos of the argument were still in the Italian media days later.
Yet another person told LeBron James to shut up and dribble, this time a fellow athlete, and it led to the same result: a fiery response from the Los Angeles Lakers star.
Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, complaining about James' political and social outspokenness. It was a familiar statement from a new source:
"Do what you’re good at. Do the category that you do," he said. "I play football because I’m the best at 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 and come into a certain status. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re best at doing, because otherwise it doesn't look good."
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James did not publicly respond to Ibrahimovic until Friday night, after the Lakers' 102-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It was the Lakers' first win in more than a week, but the focus of the postgame news conference soon turned to James' activism.
In a lengthy response, James reiterated that he will never not speak out about injustice he says and pointed to his past results like his I Promise School and. At the end, he pointedly called out Ibrahimovic's own past statements that could be construed as not sticking to sports.
At the end of the day, I will never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social justice, racism, voter suppression, things that go on in our community because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that were going on, and I know what’s still going on because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are going through the same thing and they need a voice. I’m their voice and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that might be going on, not only in my community but in this country and around the world.
Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic says LeBron James should stop getting involved in politics and stick to basketball
"Stay out of [politics], do what you're best at because it doesn't look good," Zlatan Ibrahimovic said of LeBron James.James has long been a campaigner for social justice in the United States.
There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is. He can just ask Renee Montgomery if I would have shut up and just dribbled, just seeing that beautiful Black woman today be part of a group — she’s part of the ownership group with the Atlanta Dream.
It’s funny he’d say that because I believe in 2018 he was the same guy who said, 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 it was racism going on when he was out on the pitch. Right? He did say that, right? I thought he said that. I speak from a very educated mind. I’m kinda the wrong guy to actually go at, because I do my homework.
That 2018 story James references is almost certainly when Ibrahimovicover his Muslim background.
"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.
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"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."
Obviously, an American athlete's broad activism and a Swedish player's discussion of his personal experience are difficult to compare fairly, but it's not hard to see James' point. We'll see if and how Ibrahimovic ends up responding.
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'Vagabondo' Ibrahimovic hitches ride on motorbike to sing at Sanremo .
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed on Friday how he had to hitch a motorbike ride to avoid missing Italy's legendary Sanremo Music Festival where he was performing a duet with Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. The rider, identified as Franco, told Radio Monte Carlo on Friday that Ibrahimovic had wanted to ride the bike himself over the 60km to Sanremo. "I was returning home and, while I was stopped in traffic, I saw this black van. There were two people and one looked like Ibrahimovic. So I thought: 'But this is Ibra!' he recalled."At that point the driver lowered the window and told me: 'Ibra asks if you can take him to Sanremo'.