Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has harsh words for anti-vax NBA players

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kevork S. Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kevork S. Djansezian/Getty Images) /

No feelings were spared in a harsh post from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar concerning anti-vax players in the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers great and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had some stern words for NBA players who are opting out of the COVID-19 vaccination this season.

In a lengthy Substack post, Abdul-Jabbar vented all of his thoughts about individual and organizational responsibility within the pandemic. He shredded arguments against vaccination and likened anti-vax sentiment to “pseudo-science” and “crackpot theories…that justify marginalizing others.”

Those unrelenting statements wove throughout Abdul-Jabbar’s message before he culminated with a call-out of the NBA specifically for what he views as a lack of justice enforcement.

"“If individual athletes can’t muster the courage to do the right thing, then the NBA and every other league governing body must step in and mandate vaccinations for players, coaches, and staff in order to protect the team, the fans, and the community.”"

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t hold back in his message to anti-vax athletes

With only 90 percent of the league currently vaccinated and big-name players like Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins making headlines for their unvaccinated status, Abdul-Jabbar’s message seems quite personal. His words are adding fire to a controversial topic in the NBA and around the nation, and with the season just around the corner, there may be a breaking point soon.

For now, the league remains firm on its lack of vaccine mandate. The biggest barrier for unvaccinated players will be local mandates that prevent them from playing games on their home court. San Francisco, for example, has mandates that block Wiggins from playing in home games with the Golden State Warriors until he is vaccinated.

Abdul-Jabbar is just one among many who stand firm on either side of the nationally contentious debate. As the season nears, only time will tell how vaccination status will affect the league and all those around it.

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