Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit back at LeBron James to continue their war of words over the basketballer’s political activism.
The AC Milan striker, who is not happy with influential figures branching into politics, has refused to back down on his stance on the matter after James replied him that he will never stop using his platform to speak out about political issues such as racial inequality.
‘Racism and politics are two different things. We athletes unite the world, politics divides the world,’ said the 39-year-old striker said on Tuesday.
‘Everyone is welcome, it has nothing to do with where you are from, we do what we do to unite. We don’t do other things because we are not good at it, otherwise I would be in politics.
‘That’s my message. Athletes must be athletes, politicians must be politicians.’
The Swedish football legend previously told Discovery+: ‘[LeBron] is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like it when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time.
‘Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do. I play football because I’m the best at playing football.
‘I don’t do politics. If I would be a political politician, I would do politics. That is the first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status.
‘Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good.
Over the weekend, James had responded to Zlatan’s criticism by saying he was ‘the wrong guy to go at’ and won;t using his platform to speak out about political issues such as racial inequality.
“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.”
On Saturday morning, he also posted via his Instagram story, a message, which reads ‘When y’all gone learn that… I am more than an athlete.’