Attempting to defend his outspoken political activism, NBA star LeBron James drew criticism for bragging about "doing [his] homework" while inadvertently contradicting himself.
During an interview in Sweden, international soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic had expressed his preference that James work on perfecting his "phenomenal" basketball skills rather than dividing people by making inflammatory political remarks.
"Do what you're good at," Ibrahimovic encouraged James. "Do the category you do. I play football because I'm the best at playing football. I don't do politics."
Following Friday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, James responded to the criticism when asked, saying "I would never shut up about things that's [sic] wrong."
"I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community," James began. "Because I was a part of my community at one point and seeing the things that was going on and I know what's going on still." ...
"I speak from a very educated mind," James concluded. "I'm kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework."
Not long after his interview aired, several on social media couldn't help but note the inconsistency between James defending his own right to not "shut up about things that's [sic] wrong" and his previous attack on Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey who chose not to shut up about the horrific human rights abuse occurring in China.
For his own part, James has said that he is "not informed enough about" what is happening in China to share his opinions. What drew criticism, however, was what many saw as a double standard: telling Ibrahimovic that he has a right and duty to speak out against injustice himself, while having told Daryl Morey that he should not.
James and his Los Angeles Lakers are back in action Sunday night as they play host to the Golden State Warriors.