We're living in polarizing times, and not even the NBA is exempt from that. People all over the world have their own views on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination, regardless of what experts advise or the policies all sports competitions try to issue.
The NBA wants to encourage vaccination among NBA players. Nonetheless, there's a small contingent of players who still don't trust the vaccine and refuse to get the shot unless it's mandatory.
That's why Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fired shots at pretty much every single person around the league, urging the NBA to van anti-vaxx players and criticizing celebrities for not doing their part.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Blasts Anti-Vaxx NBA Players
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” Kareem told Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Kareem Blasts LeBron James, "Selfish" Athletes
The former Bucks star also took and other black athletes who haven't taken a strong stance regarding the vsome slight shots at LeBron Jamesaccine, claiming that they're no longer legitimate role models:
“They are failing to live up to the responsibilities that come with celebrity. Athletes are under no obligation to be spokespersons for the government, but this is a matter of public health,” Kareem added. "By not encouraging their people to get the vaccine, they’re contributing to these deaths. I’m also concerned about how this perpetuates the stereotype of dumb jocks who are unable to look at verified scientific evidence and reach a rational conclusion."
Kareem has been an activist for decades and his words certainly carry a lot of weight around the sports community, so we'll have to wait and see whether some athletes will follow his lead and speak up as well.