LeBron James was a loud and proud Dallas Cowboys fan for years, but he’s changed his tune due to the organization’s stance on players kneeling for the national anthem.
During an Instagram Live with his friend and business partner Maverick Carter, the four-time NBA champion was asked if he was still a Cowboys fan.
“It was just a lot of things that [were] going on when guys were kneeling, and freedom of speech and wanting to do it in a very peaceful manner,” King James replied. “The organization was like ‘if you do that around here then you won’t ever play for this franchise again,’ and I just didn’t think that was appropriate.”
The 37-year-old still supports players on the team, such as running back Ezekiel Elliott, linebacker Micah Parsons, and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. However, as far as full team support goes, he is keeping his allegiance close to home and only riding for the Cleveland Browns.
At one point in 2017, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones supported the players who kneeled in protest of Donald Trump and even kneeled alongside them. However, weeks later he backpedaled and asserted that he would not tolerate disrespect toward the American flag.
Kneeling became a contentious issue in the NFL over the years due to Colin Kaepernick taking a figurative stand on the matter. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was subsequently “blackballed,” and no NFL team has signed him. The activist has worked out for a few teams but has not been added to any rosters.