LeBron James: NFL Owners Have a 'Slave Mentality' Towards Players

NBA star LeBron James has accused NFL owners of having "slave mentality" in the treatment of their players.

The LA Lakers star made the comments on Friday's edition of his HBO discussion show, The Shop, accusing NFL chiefs of attempting to suppress the political views of African American players.

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"In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality," James said. "And it's like, 'This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y'all to do. Or we get rid of y'all.'

He went on to praise NBA commissioner Adam Silver for his creating a environment where players are free to express their convictions.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers palms the ball before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

"I'm so appreciative, in our league, our commissioner," he continued. "It doesn't even matter if Adam agrees with what we are saying, he at least wants to hear us out. As long as we are doing it in a very educational, non-violent way, then he's absolutely OK with it."

He said the NFL's had no interest in the wider well-being of its players.

"The difference between the NBA and the NFL, the NBA is what we believe he [a player] can be. The potential," James said. "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' comments follow the wave of protests that swept the NFL and NBA last year, with players taking a knee during the national anthem in demonstration against police racism and brutality.

The NFL was forced to suspend a ban on kneel protests in July, following a widepread backlash.

Trump has called on NFL teams to sack players who take part in the protests.

A longstanding critic of Trump, James in an interview in January remarked. "The number one job in America ... is someone who doesn't understand the people, and really don't give a fuck about the people."