Kareem Abdul Jabbar was his characteristically blunt self when said NBA players who are unvaccinated should be banished from their respective teams.
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” Abdul-Jabbar, 74, told Rolling Stone.
“There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research.”
Abdul-Jabbar has long been a proponent of getting vaccinated. He got inoculated on camera before appearing in a public service announcement for the NBA to encourage others. His voice carries more weight than many others as he compiled arguably the greatest combined collegiate and pro career in the history of the game.
“What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts,” Jabbar said. “Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Abdul-Jabbar says this as the CDC reports that African Americans are the least vaccinated demographic in the nation. He says more work needs to be done to admonish Blacks that getting vaccinated may save them from severe illness and even death.
“We have to gain the trust of minority communities by showing them that the vaccine is effective and that it’s in their best interest to take the vaccine,” Abdul-Jabbar explained to CNN’s Chris Cuomo back in March 2021. “The problem in times past was that no one wanted to give them the latest treatment.”