NBA Legend Speaks Out Against League for Vaccination Protocols

Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is speaking out against players who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Hall of Famer told Rolling Stone that the NBA needs to mandate that all of its players and staff are vaccinated against the virus. Should they not comply with this requirement Abdul-Jabbar believes they should be removed from the team.

Abdul-Jabbar’s Stance on Vaccines: Abdul-Jabbar has been a staunch advocate of the importance of getting the vaccine. Not only did he receive his own vaccine on camera in front of the media, but he has also appeared in an NBA public service announcement in support of the vaccine. The basketball legend said that the league should not accommodate players who are willing to risk the health and livelihood of others just because they are not willing to get the vaccine.

Official NBA Stance: As an organization, the NBA does not mandate that its players are vaccinated as a condition of employment. However, it does require that staff and referees are fully vaccinated. This double standard has put league officials under fire.

There is also the question surrounding how cities that require vaccination to gather in large groups indoors will deal with players that are not vaccinated. Both New York City and San Francisco require that the players on their home teams be vaccinated in order to play in arenas in front of fans. This may mean that these players would not be able to compete unless they are successful in getting a medical or religious exemption.

Stars Under the Gun: Some of the league’s biggest stars have not addressed the issue. Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving was not with his teammates on Monday at the organization’s media day event. However, he did take questions remotely. When asked about his vaccination status, Irving said that he wanted to keep that matter private.

Abdul-Jabbar Calls Out Anti-Vaxxers: In the interview, Abdul-Jabbar called out anti-vaxxers for their hypocrisy. He called this group arrogant for not believing medical experts regarding the importance of vaccines, yet calling on them if they are sick and need medical treatment.

Abdul-Jabbar also continues to highlight the importance of reaching minority communities with vaccine outreach efforts. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 25% of the Black population is fully vaccinated.

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