Los Angeles (CBSLA) Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar presented a strong letter to the league in which he suggested removing all unprotected players and staff from their teams.
“There is no place for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, staff and fans simply because they are unable to understand the gravity of the situation or do the necessary research,” Abdul-Jabbar said. Article published in rolling rock.
Earlier this year, the NBA announced the creation of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, Champion of Social Justice, “A new annual honor that will honor a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and upholding NBA values over decades of equality, respect and inclusion.”
Abdul-Jabbar insists that it is part of the player’s responsibility as a public figure to avoid spreading false narratives and to be aware of the significant social impact they are having on their communities.
“They fail to live up to the responsibilities of celebrities,” Abdul-Jabbar said in an email to rolling rock. By not encouraging their employees to get the vaccine, they are contributing to these deaths. I’m also worried about how this stereotype of stupid players who can’t look at verified scientific evidence and come to a rational conclusion can persist.”
These comments come with NBA Media Day taking place across the country and the upcoming season is fast approaching. The league continues to incentivize getting vaccinated by requiring unvaccinated players to undergo regular testing – once on training or travel days and at least once on game days, According to the Associated Press,. Players who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to undergo regular testing.
However, that hasn’t stopped some NBA superstars from refusing to publicly acknowledge their vaccination status. Despite multiple media reports that nearly 90 percent of NBA players have been fully vaccinated, there have been multiple players who spoke out against the vaccine sparking controversy in locker rooms throughout the assembly.
Kyrie Irving, who was not present at the Brooklyn Nets media day due to health and safety protocols, was one of the most vocal players about not being vaccinated.
“Living in this public realm, there are a lot of questions about what’s going on in the Kyrie world,” he said, “and I would like to keep this private and handle that in the right way with my team and move forward with a plan.”
The Nets, one of the hot favorites to compete in this year’s NBA Finals, will have to overcome hurdles like the Brooklyn and Golden State Warriors, in cities that require athletes to have at least one dose of the Covid vaccination. Therefore, if Irving remains vulnerable, he will not be eligible to play home games at Barclays Center.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, who missed the Olympics with USA Basketball after being put into health and safety protocols, has joined Irving in publicly criticizing him for focusing on the state of vaccination.
“What happens if one of our players gets vaccinated and can’t play after that? Or do they have complications after that? Because there are cases like that,” Bell said regarding breakthrough cases among those who have been fully vaccinated.
Abdul-Jabbar expressed his frustration with players who reject the vaccine and fail to do the “necessary research”.
“What I find particularly disingenuous about vaccine deniers is their arrogance in disbelieving immunology and other medical experts,” he said. “However, if their child is ill or they themselves need emergency medical treatment, how quickly will they do exactly what those same experts have told them?”