Why LeBron James is no longer a Cowboys fan


LeBron James has switched teams — NFL teams, that is.

In a recent Instagram Live session with his friend and business partner Maverick Carter, the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA superstar revealed he’s no longer a fan of the Dallas Cowboys due to the franchise’s stance on players kneeling during the national anthem.

“Nah, man. I had to sit out on the Cowboys, man,” James said when asked if he was still a Cowboys fan. “There’s just a lot of things that were going on when guys were kneeling. Guys were having freedom of speech and wanting to do it in a very peaceful manner. … The organization was like, ‘If you do that around here then you will never play for this franchise again.’ I just didn’t think that was appropriate.”

In the 2016 NFL season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice. As more players across the league did the same, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in October 2017 that any Dallas player who knelt during the national anthem wouldn’t be allowed to play.

"If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period," Jones said at the time. "We're going to respect the flag and I'm going to create the perception of it."

In 2020, then-Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe became the first Dallas player to kneel during the anthem after talking about it with Jones.

James said he still likes a lot of Cowboys players, mentioning wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, running back Ezekiel Elliott, linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs. But, in terms of rooting for a team, the Cleveland Browns now have James’ full backing.

“I’m all-in on the Browns,” he said.

James is an Akron, Ohio, native and spent 11 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers over two stints with the team. He helped deliver the franchise's first NBA championship in 2016.

The Browns have recently drawn criticism for their handling of the Deshaun Watson situation. Cleveland traded for Watson and gave him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract in March while the quarterback was facing more than 20 lawsuits of alleged sexual misconduct.

Watson has denied the claims and settled 23 of the 24 civil suits against him. The NFL suspended Watson 11 games and fined him $5 million for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Cleveland is off to a 2-5 start to the 2022 season, with Watson eligible to return in Week 13.

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