The Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 102-93 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Like he has been for nearly every game in his NBA career, LeBron James was at the centre of the action, recording 28 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and three blocks in the win. Afterwards, though, James reminded everyone that he is more than a basketball player.
James was asked about recent comments made by soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic that essentially posited that athletes, including James, should “stick to sports.”
“I would never shut up about things that are wrong,” James said when asked about Ibrahimovic’s comments.
“I preach about my people, and I preach about equality, social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community,” James said. “Because I was a part of my community at one point and seeing the things that were going on and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that’s going through the same thing, and they need a voice. And I’m their voice. I’m their voice, and 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.
“There’s no way I will ever just stick to sports because I understand how this platform … how powerful my voice is.”
James then shouted out Renee Montgomery, the former Atlanta Dream star and activist, who officially became part of the WNBA team’s ownership group Friday. He also turned the tables on Ibrahimovic, citing 2018 comments the former Los Angeles Galaxy star made about “undercover racism” in his native Sweden that seems to expose some hypocrisy in Ibrahimovic’s recent comments about “sticking to sports.”
“I speak from a very educated mind,” James said. “I’m the wrong guy to go at because I do my homework.”