NBA star LeBron James criticized NFL officials on Friday night for not being accepting of players' protests, saying the league is riddled with a "slave mentality."
"In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality," James said during the latest episode of his HBO series "The Shop." "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.'"
James added: "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. And it's the same in the NBA."
The Los Angeles Lakers player compared the NFL to the NBA, saying the basketball league focuses on "the potential" of an athlete, as opposed to the more strict mindset of the NFL.
"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.
He added that he is "so appreciative" of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who he said, "doesn't mind us having ... a real feeling and to be able to express that. 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, nonviolent way, then he's absolutely OK with it."
James made the comments while talking with his business partner Maverick Carter, Los Angeles Rams player Todd Gurley and actor Ice Cube.