LeBron James slammed NFL owners for their treatment of players, calling them “old white men” with a “slave mentality” on Friday’s episode of his HBO series “The Shop.”
Dec 18, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams, and they got that slave mentality,” he 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.’
“The players are who make the ship go. We make it go. Every Sunday, without Todd Gurley and without Odell Beckham Jr., without those players, those guys, there is no football.”
The Los Angeles Lakers star compared the NFL to the NBA throughout the show, which featured Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams running back, as his guest.
“In the NFL, it’s like what can you do for me this Sunday, or this Monday, or this Thursday, and if you ain’t it, we moving on,” James said.
“That’s what I say: Your best ability is availability,” Gurley said. “It’s really week by week. It ain’t no year by year.”
James said things are different in the NBA, offering praise to commissioner Adam Silver.
“He doesn’t mind us having … a real feeling and to be able to express that,” James said. “It doesn’t even matter if Adam agrees with what we are saying, he at least wants to hear us out.”
A 30-minute weekly talk show produced by James and business partner Maverick Carter, “The Shop” is set in a barbershop and features athletes and celebrities discussing sports and life. The series premiered in August.
—Field Level Media