Joy Reid Claims LeBron James is the Modern Day Muhammad Ali

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Over the weekend, active Twitter users rushed to the defense of LeBron James after international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović told him to “stick to sports.” Among the outraged was MSNBC primetime host Joy Reid, who spreads many of the same tiresome talking points as LeBron, telling millions of viewers that America is a rotten country. This time, Reid declared LeBron the modern-day Muhammad Ali. 

In other words, LeBron is on par with a hero.

As an activist, LeBron is actually the anti-Ali. Muhammad Ali sought change through courage, through vision. During the Vietnam War, Ali risked his career and even imprisonment because he took such dangerous, unpopular opinions. 

LeBron is the opposite. He grandstands and popularizes opinions that have already been deemed acceptable across corporate America. Each stance LeBron takes is essentially pre-approved by Nike and other sponsors that have put him on track to become the fifth billionaire athlete in the world.

Muhammad Ali risked his career during the Vietnam War, LeBron James grew his brand well beyond basketball through BLM and opposing Donald Trump.

Saturday was far from the first time LeBron has been compared to Ali in this way though.

“The stakes of LeBron’s opinions are not substantial,” OutKick’s Clay Travis said on this very topic in 2018. “Look at what was happening when Ali was speaking out in 1968? We’re at war in Vietnam, we’re dealing with the MLK & RFK assassinations, 18-year-olds were being drafted into the army, and cities are burning in riots…. What’s going on right now??”

The comparison was delusional in 2018, but it’s gotten far worse since.

Any remaining belief that LeBron’s social agenda is anything more than a promotional tool for his brand was shattered in 2019 when he bent the knee to China, a country in which LeBron and the NBA have generational money tied up. LeBron didn’t just shut up and dribble, he told others in the NBA to fall in line so that they wouldn’t risk his bottom line:

Ali jeopardized his freedom, LeBron wouldn’t jeopardize the profit of a shoe sale.

This summer, not long after reiterating he’s more than an athlete, LeBron spoke up about the tragic death of Breonna Taylor. However, he sat silent about the horrific shooting of two police officers in Los Angeles — the city in which LeBron lives and plays — because doing so would’ve run afoul of BLM. Thus, LeBron ran from the story even after he was publicly challenged to match the reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Knowing the negative reputation of police online, LeBron sat that one out. He just kept dribbling. When LeBron was asked about the police killings during a presser, a time when he often addresses social issues, LeBron just wanted to talk basketball.

“I have zero comment on the sheriff,” LeBron responded to the question.

Got that, Joy Reid? This era’s Muhammad Ali couldn’t take the time to speak about the slaying of two local police officers. He refused to condemn slave labor in China. But he does call Trump a racist, wears BLM gear, owns a Colin Kaepernick shirt, and looked to pay the fines of convicted felons in Florida so they could vote last November. His bravery is really off the charts.

The worst part of all of this is the history lesson it teaches to future generations. Joy Reid and other media members have gotten the cue that LeBron James should be viewed as today’s Muhammad Ali. Millions of Americans hear that, they read that, and then they start believe that. There may be no evidence to back it up, it may be a lie, but it’s the story nonetheless, with all the subplots we just pointed out either cherry-picked or left out completely. Though LeBron James is called the modern-day Muhammad Ali, he’s nothing like him. He never has been.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. Great article! LeBron is fake and only does things that bring him Gram likes of Twitter followers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nike tells the Queen what to say and when. Fuck Joy Reid she is a racist idiot. Anyone that thinks LeBron is a “hero” is lying to themselves. The entire woke movement is fake and based on paper thin “evidence”.

  2. sure would be nice to hear stories of how lebron suffered in his life to get where he is.

    sorry Bron. you have lived in privilege since junior high school when you were taller than every adult at 13.

    you won the genetic lottery and got be born in America. just one of those good fortunes could have provided you with mega opportunities.

    Lebron had both; Location and Biology.

    and no humility whatsoever.

  3. The only thing worse than LeBron highly thinking of himself as some sort of activist is all the media enablers who probably get the script to shape public perception that he’s an activist.

    He’s a fraud and I hope his house of cards gets exposed one day.

  4. LeBron James is to Muhammed Ali as Joy Reid is to objective journalism.

    Seriously, Ali gave up his career to stand up for what he believed in. James gets paid millions to spew racist idiocy while getting paid millions more to play basketball, all without a single negative consequence.

  5. That is really an insult to Muhammad Ali and his legacy that broad is ignorant at the highest level and she displays it every time she opens her pie hole the queen is a self centered ignorant racist who has sacrificed not a damn thing destroyed a league single candidly and boot licks the Chicoms smfh

  6. LeBron does great things with his money regarding helping the underprivileged; besides that, he is an uneducated person who surrounds himself with “yes men” and shies away from people who are willing to debate him.

    LeBron had the opportunity to prove his intellect to the conservative fan base and possibly prove the many doubters wrong when Laura Ingram invited him to come on her show, but he ignored her invite.

    Muhammad Ali never shied away from tough questions.

    • He might do great things with some of his money, but the school he opened in Akron and took so much credit for was funded on the backs of taxpayers, picking up at least 80 percent of the costs. Similar situation with the scholarships he sponsors at U. of Akron, where LBJ is the front man for the program but the school picks up the cost. LeFraud.

  7. It amazes me how much Lebron thinks he needs to “educate” other people. As delusional as Lebron is, next he’ll probably be “educating” us on how to bend over and take anal covid tests from his China Overlords….(And I know, truly I know, if any fellow Outkick readers happen to read what I just wrote, they’ll think I was trying to be sarcastic, or trying to come up with a clever joke. But seriously, if you haven’t heard, google, “China mistakenly gives anal covid tests to U.S. Diplomats”. And of course, the Biden diplomats took their anal swabs like the good little comrades they are. I mean, everything is so crazy. Lebron is educating us to listen to our China overlords, who are now both literally and figuratively bending some of us over and telling us to grab our ankles. When will the madness end? When will Lebron stop trying to “educate us”) .

  8. America is red and the elite class continues to throw propaganda thinking that we are falling for it. The only reason they are in power again is because they cheated. No Joy Reid is a tool being used until they have no need for her anymore. Lebron is just not very smart. Whatever homework he’s done ain’t working.

  9. What bothers me is when he speaks of “his Kids” and he “speaks for them”… One would want young people to form their own opinions, but not LaBottomly… I worked around Akron when he first came in the league. His HS teammates played for Akron. He came to games, we had a seat set aside for him. I had to usher him and another teammate to a room at halftime where they hid from the kids seeking autographs. Never a fan after that…

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