Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doubled down on his criticisms of players who are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He also hit back at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who has been at the forefront of creating “confusion” about vaccination.
Recently, Abdul-Jabbar slammed those players pushing their anti-vaccine stance in the NBA, noting that “there is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans.” Now, in an interview with Don Lemon of CNN, the Lakers great further criticized those players and highlighted that they are not acting as “good teammates.”
“I don’t think that they are behaving like good teammates or good citizens. This is a war that we’re involved in. And masks and vaccines — they are the weapons that we use to fight this war,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
Further in the interview, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also commented on Kyrie Irving’s latest remarks about his vaccination status. The Nets star refused to disclose if he’s been vaccinated or not, simply saying that he wants to keep it private.
KAJ, for his part, didn’t like the answer from Irving as he noted that the superstar guard is “hiding behind procedure.”
“Either you understand what’s going on and you’re going to do the right thing, or you don’t understand what’s going on and you’re going to continue to create all this confusion with your stance,” the Lakers great said of Irving.
For those not in the know, Irving has recently made headlines not only for his anti-vaccine stance but also his alleged belief that there is some conspiracy behind it. Per Rolling Stone:
“Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.”
Kareem has never shied away from expressing his thoughts on things that matter to him, the community and the NBA. His position on the COVID-19 vaccine is also clear, which is why it has been frustrating him that there is a strong push against it in the NBA.
For what it’s worth, more than 90 percent of the players in the NBA have been vaccinated. Even Lakers star LeBron James himself confirmed that he got the vaccine in a bid to protect his family.
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