Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never been one to bite his tongue.
Generally his commentary, although delivered in an extremely cocky manner, is reserved for opponents in his own sport.
This week, however, he turned his sights onto a new target: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
In a recent interview, Ibrahimovic took aim at James’ penchant for involving himself in matters pertaining to politics.
As far as Ibrahimovic is concerned, being a superior athlete doesn’t give anyone the right to tell politicians how to do their job.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic says famous people like athletes should stay out of politics.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 25, 2021
“He’s phenomenal, but I don’t like when people with a ‘status’ speak about politics,” Ibrahimovic said of James.
“Do what you’re good doing. I play football because I’m the best 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: for me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re good doing, otherwise you risk doing something wrongly.”
It’s worth noting, of course, that James doesn’t just talk about politics. He also puts his money where his mouth is. He helped pay $27 million so that felons could vote in the last election, contributed to fighting voter suppression, and attempted to spearhead the NBA’s movement against police brutality.
LaMelo has found a nifty trick for picking up Instagram models. https://t.co/4y9uyWxlAe
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 25, 2021
Ibrahimovic is certainly not the first athlete to call James out for his political commentary. UFC fighter and former interim champion Colby Covington famously targeted the Lakers star, even going so far as to insult his mother and threaten to beat him up. That of course prompted response from James’ fellow NBA players, like Kevin Durant, who promptly clowned Covington for his comments.
While Ibrahimovic is unlikely to face the same sort of backlash that Covington got, his critique will still likely trigger some sort of conversation about athletes and political commentary.