Zlatan Ibrahimovic found out you don’t tug on Superman’s Cape, and you darn sure don’t tell LeBron James to lay off the politics. A Swedish soccer player on the Milan team and considered one of the greatest strikers ever, Ibrahimovic suggested the SJW James stick more to sports and less to the political, drawing an avalanche of blowback from James and his media posse.
Ibrahimovic (in photo) made his remarks to Discovery+.:
“I like (James) a lot. He’s phenomenal, what he’s doing, but I don’t like when people with a status speak about politics. Do what you’re good at doing.
“I play football because I’m the best playing at football, I don’t do politics. 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.”
Appearing shirtless in a press conference Friday night, James bragged that he speaks from a very educated mind, he’s the wrong guy to go at because he does his homework and he’s the voice for 300 students at the I Promise school in Akron, Ohio he helped start.:
"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.
"I'll use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that's going on around this country and around the world. There's no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is."
If only "around the world" included China. Anyway, as expected, the liberal media poured out the love for James as a pillar of social justice activism who’s above criticism.
The Guardian posted a quote from retired U.S. Olympic gold medalist sprinter Michael Johnson telling Ibrahimovic to back off.:
“You’re really good at football so you shouldn’t voice your opinion about LeBron using his platform for good. Or your opinion on anything outside football!”
CBS Sports writers Sam Quinn and Chris Bengel credited James for his social conscience and his opposition to so-called voter suppression and gun violence (aside from inner city gun violence, that is.) They also said Ibrahimovic is just another person who failed at criticism of James, the Laker star who’s using his platform to push for social change. “None of them have succeeded in dissuading James, and, it seems, Ibrahimovic hasn't either.”
Kurt Helin, of NBC Sports, also defended James as “more than a basketball player. LeBron built a school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to help underserved children. He’s worked on voter suppression issues. LeBron doesn’t want to be confined to the box of an entertainer and athlete, and he’s encouraged other players to be more and do more as well.”
James seems to have an opinion on everything, and the media can’t suck it up fast enough. Forbes said, “James also proudly addressed Friday's sale of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream to an ownership group that included former Dream star Renee Montgomery, after WNBA players had called for former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, (R-Ga.) to sell her share in the team over her hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Forbes reported it a “surprising fact” that in October of 2019, James faced significant criticism from human rights activists worldwide after he failed to speak out against China’s treatment of its own citizens. …”
The New York Post gushed about James praising Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and NFL stars Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara for engaging in social justice activism.
The Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe loved how James responded to the soccer player, and First Take’s Stephen A. Smith said James was “classy and far too nice” in his response. ESPN FC’s Matteo Bonetti called the “pig-headed” Ibrahimovic out of touch.
With such lavish media support for James, it’s like spitting into the wind to criticize him.