On Friday, Dec. 24, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James shared a popular Spider-Man meme comparing COVID-19 to the flu and colds. Former Laker and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called LeBron out again in his Substack newsletter for his poor messaging. With Kareem and LeBron being two of three men (Michael Jordan being the other) that can lay claim to basketball’s GOAT crown, is this the future of their interactions?
“LeBron James is not only one of the greatest basketball players ever, he’s committed to being a leader in the African American community in the fight against inequality,” wrote Abdul-Jabbar. “But his Thursday Instagram meme…was a blow to his worthy legacy.”
Let’s provide some background and context.
Kareem’s basketball resume and accomplishments are unassailable. And if possible his lifelong civil rights activism, writing and societal contributions might be greater than that legendary hoops career. He has the necessary receipts to criticize LeBron.
LeBron is still putting the finishing touches on his basketball legacy, and his off-court work in the Black community is to be praised. He has opened a public elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Through his foundation, he has supported those most in need and has been a voice in support of criminal justice reform, civil rights and voter rights.
But there are areas where LeBron falls short in his face of the league role, and the COVID-19 pandemic is one. He was a vaccine holdout and skeptic until conducting his “own research.” He continues to advocate for personal choice when most everyone understands by now that vaccines aren’t just about protecting the individual that is vaccinated.
By posting the Spider-Man meme comparing COVID-19 to the flu and colds and the caption “Help me out folks” with the shrugging emoji, LeBron is feigning ignorance on something he supposedly researched. Kareem, rightfully so, demands that LeBron be better.
Kareem Abdul- Jabbar has made his criticisms of LeBron James well known. For more on the COVID beef between two NBA GOATS, click here.
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