Aheated feud has started between basketball superstar LeBron James and football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the latter criticised the American for using his popularity to speak up about social and political issues.

James has been one of the most vocal athletes when it comes to topics like social injustice and racism in the United States. In a recent interview with Discovery Channel, Ibrahimovic said that: "This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous and come into a certain status. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you're best at doing, because otherwise it doesn't look good."

Just days later, BBC quoted the LA Lakers star saying: "I will never shut up about things that are wrong. I'm kinda the wrong guy to actually go at... I do my homework."

James was referring to the fact that Zlatan himself has spoken up numerous times in the past about the racism he has experienced while growing up as an immigrant in Sweden. "He's the guy who said in Sweden, he was talking about the same things, because his last name wasn't a [traditional Swedish] last name, he felt like there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch," said James.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is showing few signs of slowing down despite turning 39 at the start of October AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA

The AC Milan forward said that athletes should just stick to what they are good at and stay out of politics. In response, James said: "I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community. There's no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is."

Zlatan is one of the most outspoken footballers out there, and he has shared his opinion about many things, not just social injustice. This is why James appears confused about the Swede's statements. Nevertheless, the NBA star is not letting the comments stop him. He has vowed to continue his fight against systemic racism and other social issues.

LeBron James and teammates
LeBron James and Anthony Davis kneel with Los Angeles Lakers teammates wearing Black Lives Matter shirts at an NBA game in July 2020 GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Mike Ehrmann