CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he thinks the NBA should insist players get vaccinated against COVID-19. The league requires referees and staff to do so. But, only players in New York and San Francisco have to follow suit, and that’s due to city mandates.
Abdul-Jabbar says unvaccinated players should not be allowed to risk the health of others. He says, “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. And when you’re not gonna be cooperative with that, you’re working against the effort to make everybody safe. And we can’t have that. That doesn’t work for everybody.”
Abdul-jabbar is an outspoken vaccine advocate and his comments come after a slew of NBA players spoke out today about sharing their vaccination status. Washington Wizards player Bradley Beal says, “I will like an explanation to people you know with vaccines, why are they still getting COVID? If that’s something that we’re supposed to be protected from?”
LA Lakers superstar LeBron James said, “We are talking about people’s bodies and well beings. I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and livelihoods. That would be me talking about you know if they should take this job or not. Listen, you have to do what’s best for you and your family.”
James says he is now fully vaccinated, and made the decision to do so because he’d done his research and thought it was best for his family.
Our question of the night: should all professional athletes be required to get vaccinated to play and travel?
This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB TV’s Kelli Bartik
WCCB News Edge Contributor Ashley Anderson