LeBron James is comfortable as a leading voice on social issues among NBA stars and hopes to continue to inspire fellow players.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has been outspoken on a number of topics in recent months, notably challenging president Donald Trump on “trying to divide us” and supporting Colin Kaepernick, who was criticized for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games in protest of perceived police brutality and racial injustice.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers star has his own charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation, and he is happy to continue leading the way.
“I’m very comfortable, if that’s the case [and others follow],” James told SPOX. “I want to continue to inspire and lead a generation, not only my colleagues but the guys underneath them, to feel empowered and realise that they’re more than a basketball player and can be more than the bubble that people try to put them in.
“That’s important for everyone — it doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not. I’m very inspired by that in itself and very humbled, more importantly, that some of my colleagues and the youth use me for that reason, as a figure that can inspire them.”
A new Nike advertisement includes footage of James, narrated by Kaepernick, who says: “Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball.”
Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough. #justdoit pic.twitter.com/Wd5L42egV8
— Nike (@Nike) September 5, 2018
But with the increased attention on James’ actions, the 33-year-old likes to get away from the media spotlight and spend time with his family.
“When I’m at home with my two sons, my daughter, my wife, my mom and my mother-in-law, that’s when I get my peace and quiet,” he said. “It’s a breath of fresh air when you’re able just to get away and spend time with your family, where everything is unfiltered, everything is laid back, everything is just love.
“You don’t have to perform in front of anybody when you’re at home. You’ve just got to be there to love your family and that’s most important. That’s what it’s all about.”