As the face of the NBA, LeBron James is a voice that players and league look to when it comes to serious matters and being confident in speak out against injustices.
James has not been shy about using his platform to voice his opinion on a wide range of topics, including politics. He has received his fair share of criticism and blowback over the years in doing so. For example, journalist Laura Ingraham told James to “shut up and dribble” after he criticized former president Donald Trump.
The comment was later used by James on his documentary “Shut Up and Dribble” that explored the changing role of black athletes in cultural and political environments. Despite all of his activist efforts to better his communities, James continues to be told to quiet down.
Recently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic said in an interview that the Los Angeles Lakers star should stick to basketball and stay out of politics.
“At the end of the day I will never shut up about things that are wrong,” James responded. “I preach about my people and about equality, social injustice, racism, voter suppression, things that go on in our community because I was a part of my community at one point, seeing the things that were going on and I know it’s still going on.
“I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are going through the same thing and they need a voice, and I’m their voice. I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that may be going on not only in my community but around this country and the world.
“I don’t want to say no reason, but there’s no way I will ever just stick to sports, because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is. I speak from a very educated mind, so I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at, because I do my homework.”
James has consistently preached that issues like systemic racism and social injustice take precedent over basketball, and he has been a prime example of how athletes can bring about societal change. James has referenced sports legends Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as his inspirations, and he has established himself as the next athlete to lead national discourse on important topics.
LeBron praises Renee Montgomery for involvement in purchase of Atlanta Dream
James also praised former WNBA star Renee Montgomery for her role in purchasing the Atlanta Dream. Former Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler was a minority owner of the team, but will now be ousted as Montgomery and her group take over.
“He can just ask Renee Montgomery if I would’ve shut up and just dribbled,” James also said in response to Zlatan. Seeing that beautiful Black woman today be a part of an ownership group for the Atlanta Dream.”
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