Former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is going after Lakers player LeBron James for posting a meme “encouraging vaccine hesitancy.”
Abdul-Jabbar is upset about a meme James posted comparing COVID-19 to colds and the flu.
James captioned the meme, “help me out folks” with a shrugging emoji.
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Abdul-Jabbar took to his Substack page to attack James over the post.
“The meme’s implication is that LeBron doesn’t understand the difference among these three illnesses, even after all the information that’s been presented in the press,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “Well, since he asked, let me help him out by explaining the difference—and how knowing that difference might save lives, especially in the Black community.”
“As is evident by some of the comments that cheer LeBron’s post, he’s given support to those not getting vaccinated, which makes the situation for all of worse by postponing our health and economic recovery,” the post continued. “The CDC reports that those who are unvaccinated are 9 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital and 14 times more likely to die from COVID than those vaccinated. The number rises to 20 time more likely when compared to someone who’s gotten a booster shot. By posting the uninformed meme, LeBron has encouraged vaccine hesitancy which puts lives and livelihoods at risk.”
The basketball player-turned-vaccine-activist also attacked James for failing to promote vaccines in October.
“While LeBron is a necessary and dynamic voice critical of police brutality against the Black community, he needs to be the same necessary and dynamic advocate with vaccines, which could save thousands of Black lives right now,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “The racism is just as real—and just as lethal—in both cases.”
Instead, James said that vaccines are a personal choice.