NBA great LeBron James has been branded a ‘coward’ by some fans online after refusing to say whether he will take the Covid-19 vaccine, though others have defended the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s stance.
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He said that he immediately went home after every game or practice to limit the chances he may be exposed to Covid – but refused to be drawn into a debate as to whether or not he would consider taking one of the vaccines once it becomes available to him, or whether he would encourage members of the NBA Players’ Association to take a vaccine en masse.
“My hunch is that most players ultimately will choose to get vaccinated. They have to make personal decisions at the end of the day,” James said, but added that his own personal medical choices are to be discussed among his family and not in public.
“That’s a conversation that, you know, my family and I will have. And, probably pretty much keep that to a private thing,” he said.
Considering he gives his opinion on everything it seems like an odd time to be quiet. But I agree with you.
— Drew (@UncleDrewX) March 7, 2021
I literally do not make an important decision until I find out what the celebrities think about it.
— Shreddie Jones (@MosWoke) March 7, 2021
If he does or doesn’t want to get vaccinated is none of our business. He doesn’t owe any of you and explanation. Worry about
— clinton wilson (@etrentongrewme) March 7, 2021
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated recently that a decision on whether or not to accept the Coronavirus vaccine will be left up to the players, however some have noted that LeBron’s hesitancy could lead to further reluctance among the general public to take the vaccine.
“…In the African American community, there’s been enormously disparate impact from Covid… but now, somewhat perversely, there’s been enormous resistance [to vaccinations] in the African American community for understandable historical reasons,” Silver said recently.
Health experts have said that a widespread acceptance of the vaccine will likely lead to ‘herd immunity’ to the virus being achieved – a key step in eradicating, or at least severely limiting, the impact that Covid-19 has had on global society for the last 12 months.
Bro, it’s not LeBron’s job to explain to people that they should be vaccinated. Folks have to stop with this line of thinking. HE COULDNT DELIVER OHIO TO HRC! But he’s going to convince America to be vaccinated? Stop with this crap man https://t.co/Ly25rCrha1
— Wosny Lambre (@BigWos) March 7, 2021
What??!Popovich, Bill Russell and Kareem publicly urge people to get vaccinated, but for LeBron this important public health issue is suddendly a private matter? Even though he said that he will continue to talk about politics. pic.twitter.com/tHwyVMjxIH
— Felix Benkenstein (@F_Benk) March 7, 2021
Further weight is added to the debate by a growing distrust of vaccinations amongst the African-American community linked to historical atrocities placed upon the United States’ black community – with some experts claiming that an endorsement of the vaccine from someone who commands the level of respect that LeBron James does could help lead to more vaccines being administered, and therefore more lives being saved.
However, James’ right to not be forced to discuss his medical choices in public should be assured – even if some prominent members of the African-American community in the United States have begun a vaccination drive.
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Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich are among the the sport’s key names who have lent their support to vaccine campaigns – but it seems, for now at least, they they won’t be joined by the sport’s biggest star.
In the past year, more than 29 million Americans have contracted Covid-19, leading to more than 525,000 deaths.