Basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar has clearly stated that he strongly supports being vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. A video of him receiving a vaccine was made into a public service announcement advocating vaccination, and he has endorsed getting the shot at various media events.
A current article on the CNN website reports that Abdul Jabbar told Rolling Stone he thinks the NBA should insist on mandatory vaccinations for all players and staff members.
If NBA players or staff members will not get vaccines, he says they should be removed from their teams. In his opinion, the players who won’t get vaccinated are being unrealistic about the seriousness of the situation, and are risking the health and lives of many other people.
As of now, NBA players are not required to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, but referees and some staff members must be fully vaccinated.
Although there is somewhat less vaccine hesitancy than earlier in the pandemic, it is still prevalent among black Americans. In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 25 percent of black Americans had been fully vaccinated. It also stated that only nine percent of fully vaccinated U.S. citizens are black.
For Kareem Abdul Jabbar, it’s very important that members of minority communities can be shown that the vaccine really does work. He realizes that past events where black men received inadequate medical care may affect some people’s decisions to get vaccinated.
The people who are hesitant to receive vaccinations, he says, need to realize that getting it done is in their best interest.
Athletes and Celebrities
Because athletes are respected by many people in minority communities, Abdul Jabbar says the people in the community really listen to what they say. He says that celebrities and athletes may be able to get through to people who have not yet received a vaccination. Mr. Abdul Jabbar also told Rolling Stone that he finds the vaccine deniers to be disingenuous. While they express disbelief at what medical experts are saying abut the virus, they would likely do whatever the same experts recommended if they or their child needed emergency medical treatment.