It's not a secret that LeBron James is one of the most influential people in the sports community. Besides being one of the greatest players in NBA history, his work off the court and his legacy as a philanthropist have also granted him plenty of respect and followers.
That's why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and several activists showed their disappointment in James' silence regarding vaccination. According to them, The King had an obligation to speak up and encourage vaccination, being one of the faces of the NBA.
James faced some backlash regarding his decision not to engage in controversial debates, especially considering how vocal he had been on several issues in the past, including Donald Trump's presidency.
LeBron James Didn't Want To Say He Was Vaccinated
Several months ago, the Los Angeles Lakers star did say that he felt like people should take the vaccine. As for his status, he chose not to discuss it in public, most likely to avoid controversy:
"That's a conversation my family and I will have," he said in March."I'll keep that to a private thing. My recommendation, my strong recommendation, not just to our players, but based on all the information I have, is that people should get vaccinated. But I recognize that these are individual decisions. I haven't been vaccinated yet, but I will, as soon as it is my turn."
But after Kareem and some people called him out, it seems like James felt like he had to clear the air on his status and let the world know that he had, in fact, taken the COVID-19 vaccine at some point:
“After doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited not only for me, but for my family and for my friends, and that’s why I decided to do it,” said James, as quoted by the New York Post.
Enes Kanter Says He's Disappointed In LeBron James
Even so, that wasn't enough to silence his critics. Boston Celtics big man Enes Kanter recently criticized him, saying that he was disappointed in his "ridiculous" comments about the vaccine being a personal choice:
"You know, when I heard it, I was very disappointed and it is ridiculous," Kanter said, as quoted by Fadeaway World."Obviously LeBron James, he’s one of the faces of the league. And he should be the first one to go out there and say, listen, everyone, I got the vaссine and I’m encouraging everyone, my community, everyone, basketball fans, non-basketball fans, all sport fans to go out, get this vaссine so we could save other lives. So when I heard that, I just can’t believe it. But I hope he could educate himself about this vaссination and encourage other people around him."
Kanter is well-known for his work as an activist and he, like many others, believes that stars have a responsibility to encourage people to take the vaccine as a matter of public health. Whether you agree with that or not is for us to debate here, but his point is quite valid.