Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit out at LeBron James for getting involved in politics, telling him to stick to what he is good at.
Four-time NBA champion James, who Ibrahimovic described as a phenomenal basketball player, has been one of the NBA's leading voices against racial injustice and police brutality in the US.
A frequent critic of former US President Donald Trump, the LA Lakers forward also helped form a group aimed at battling voter disenfranchisement in predominantly black communities last year.
"I like him [James] a lot. He's phenomenal, but I don't like when people with a status speak about politics. Do what you're good at doing," Ibrahimovic told UEFA and Discovery+ in Sweden.
"I play football because I'm the best playing football. I'm no politician. If I'd been a politician, I would be doing politics.
"This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you're good doing, otherwise you risk doing something wrongly."
Okay @Ibra_official based on your position @KingJames is great at basketball and shouldn’t voice his opinion about politics. You’re really good at football so you shouldn’t voice your opinion about Lebron using his platform for good. Or your opinion on anything outside football! https://t.co/xNbDo5vc9g— Michael Johnson (@MJGold) February 26, 2021
Ibrahimovic's comments were criticised by American sprint great Michael Johnson.
"Okay Ibra, based on your position @KingJames is great at basketball and shouldn't voice his opinion about politics," Johnson tweeted.
"You're really good at football so you shouldn't voice your opinion about LeBron using his platform for good. Or your opinion on anything outside football!"