“Racism and politics are two different things.”
Zlatan began the war of words with James when he initially criticised the LA Lakers small forward for his activist lifestyle and advised the American to “stick to sports”.
James then responded to the Swede, saying that he would never confine himself to the sporting world and added that he wouldn’t remain silent on “things that are wrong”.
Now, the former Sweden international has responded to James and claimed that “politics divides the world” and reiterated his original message that athletes shouldn’t stray from sports.
Zlatan vs James.
The ongoing feud began when Zlatan, speaking in an interview with Discovery Plus, hit out at James for getting involved in politics and activism.
“What he does is phenomenal, but I don’t like it when people with a certain “status” talk about politics,” he said.
“Do what you are good at. I play football because I am the best at it. If I was a politician, I’d have gone into politics.”
James then responded to the former Paris Saint-Germain striker’s comments during a post-game interview.
“At the end of the day, I will never shut up about things that are wrong,” the 36-year-old replied.
“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.
“There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand this platform and how powerful my voice is.”
LeBron also called out Zlatan for being hypocritical, saying the Swede himself had spoken out about receiving racist treatment on the pitch back in 2018.
Zlatan responds to LeBron.
Following LeBron’s comments, Zlatan spoke to the media in a press conference and doubled down on his original statement.
“Racism and politics are two different things. We athletes unite the world, politics divides the world,” Ibrahimovic said.
“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.”