LeBron James, star of the Los Angeles Lakers, slammed NFL owners on the latest episode of HBO’s “The Shop,” which aired on Friday night.
“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality,”
James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f— I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all.'”
James said he is appreciative of NBA commissioner Adam Silver for allowing basketball players to politically express themselves on the court.
“It doesn’t even matter if Adam agrees with what we are saying, he at least wants to hear us out,” James said. “And as long as we are doing it in a very educational, non-violent way. Then he’s absolutely okay with it.”
For example, in 2014, when on the Cleveland Cavaliers, James and Kyrie Irving wore T-shirts with “I Can’t Breathe” on them while warming up before a game. In 2017, during a game in the nation’s capital, James wore
Nike “Equality” sneakers — one black and one white with the word “Equality” on the back of each shoe.
His comments on Silver served as a contrast to the NFL’s attempt to shut down players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism.
In 2016, Kaepernick became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem, since then he has been shunned by the organization.
He is currently pursuing a grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick claims that ever since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in early 2017, team owners and executives have colluded to keep him out of the league.
James also implied that the NFL only uses players for what they could get out of them rather than investing in potential.
“The difference between the NBA and the NFL: the NBA (cares about) what we believe can be, the potential,” James said. “In the NFL, it’s what can you do for me this Sunday or this Monday or this Thursday. And if you ain’t it, we moving on.”
During the same episode, which included guests celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Lena Waithe, Nas, Ice Cube and Rams running back Todd Gurley, James touched on how Black culture is often replicated in mainstream society.
“It happens every single day,” James began. “People steal our style. They steal our culture. They steal our words. They steal how we dress, how we feel. What we drink. What we eat. Everything.”
He said that when Black people don’t get the credit for creations and innovations, don’t get discouraged, but “do it even harder.”
“Everything we do we move the needle,” James said. “And we’ve got to continue to do that.”
Nas said that society loves Black culture, “But when they see Black people go through the worse injustice ever they’re quiet.”
“Stand with us so we can stand together. All nationalities. But, [if] you see us going through it, say something.
He said, “We’re giving the world our sauce, and if you want to take that sauce, or whatever it is you want to call that thing we give out to the world, then be there with us, speak up against injustice. We want to speak up against injustice toward you guys.”
Reader Question: Do you agree with LeBron James’ comments on the NFL compared to the NBA