International soccer sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doubling down on his message that athletes should stick to sports after Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said he was the wrong target for criticism.
Ibrahimovic said in an interview with Discovery+ on Thursday that it was “a mistake” for James and other athletes to get involved with politics which prompted the NBA star to fire back saying: “I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.”
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC: LEBRON JAMES, OTHER SPORTS FIGURES SHOULD ‘DO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT,’ STAY OUT OF POLITICS
On Tuesday during a news conference, Ibrahimovic stood his ground.
“Athletes unite the world, politics divide it,” he said, via ESPN. “Our role is to unite the world by doing what we do best. Athletes should be athletes and politicians should do politics.”
Ibrahimovic, who currently plays in Seria A for AC Milan, said last week that while James is “phenomenal at what he’s doing” he believes he should just stick to what he does best.
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“… I don’t like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” he said. “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.”
The remarks prompted James to speak out on behalf of his activism.
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“I’ll use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that’s going on around this country and around the world,” he said Friday.
“There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.”
Fox News’ Daniel Canova and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.