LeBron James responds to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism of COVID meme: “We’re all trying to figure this pandemic out”

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NBA star LeBron James has responded to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism of a meme James posted on social media questioning the distinction between COVID-19, the flu and the widespread chilly. Abdul-Jabbar wrote that the meme was “unimformed” and that James “encouraged vaccine hesitancy which puts lives and livelihoods at risk.”

After the Lakers’ 132-123 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, James was requested about Abdul-Jabbar’s feedback.

“No, I don’t have a response to Kareem at all,” James mentioned. “And if you saw the post and you read the tag, you’re literally, honestly asking, ‘Help me out?’ Help me kind of figure it all out. We’re all trying to figure this pandemic out.” 

“I think people forgot concerning the flu,” James added. “People like literally forgot about the flu during these times like that’s still going around, it’s flu season. People have forgot about common colds. That happens, especially with a lot of our kids that’s in school.”

Last week, James posted a preferred meme format on Instagram depicting three identical-looking Spider-Men pointing at one another. In James’ publish, one was labeled “flu,” the second “covid” and the third “cold.” He captioned the publish, “Help me out folks.” 

Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar criticized LeBron James for posting a meme questioning the distinction between COVID, flu and chilly. 

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His publish was broadly criticized on-line for seemingly implying the three sicknesses have been the identical. Abdul-Jabbar went a step additional and wrote an essay titled, “Dear LeBron: Here’s the COVID-19 Help You Requested in Your Spider-Man Meme” on Substack, saying the publish “was a blow to his worthy legacy.” 

“The meme’s implication is that LeBron doesn’t understand the difference among these three illnesses, even after all the information that’s been presented in the press,” Jabbar mentioned. 

He mentioned {that a} publish just like the one James shared “questions the validity of the efforts to get the country vaccinated” which Abdul-Jabbar discovered particularly dangerous attributable to James’ giant following. “By posting the uninformed meme, LeBron has encouraged vaccine hesitancy which puts lives and livelihoods at risk,” he added. 

Instead, Abdul-Jabbar inspired James, who’s absolutely vaccinated, to be an advocate for COVID-19 and flu vaccines due to his standing within the Black group. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation exhibits Black individuals have been much less more likely to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 in comparison with White individuals. During 2020-2021, an estimated 40.4% of Black individuals have been vaccinated in opposition to the flu, in comparison with 55.5% amongst White individuals, in response to CDC’s statistics. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after primarily taking a 12 months off in 2020, with flu hospitalizations rising and two youngster deaths reported. U.S. well being officers are warning that COVID-19 circumstances are nonetheless on the rise because the surge, pushed by the Omicron variant, has prompted a wave of disruptions throughout the nation. 

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