NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has had enough of NBA players refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine or publicly advocate against taking it. With NBA stars Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins continuing to voice their disapproval, he's got a message for them.
In a recent post on substack entitled "Another Scary Side-Effect of COVID: Dumb Jock Syndrome," Kareem called out Beal and Wiggins by name. He went after some of the flaws in their reasoning one-by-one.
For Beal, who recently expressed doubts about vaccines because they don't have 100-percent effectiveness, Kareem called on him to never take antibiotics again, since they don't have perfect effectiveness either. He also said that Beal should avoid taking shots in basketball unless he can score 100-percent of the time.
“Next time you have a serious infection, don’t take the anti-biotics the doctor prescribes because they don’t work 100 percent of the time,” Kareem wrote. “And when you’re playing basketball, don’t shoot the ball unless you score 100 percent of the time. Also, that question has been answered a thousand times by experts.”
For Wiggins, who has said that he is "fighting for what I believe in," Kareem admonished him for fighting on the basis of irrational principles. He said that people who share his principles are the ones "clogging our hospitals, crushing our economy and keeping us from our loved ones."
“Trying to make this a matter of principle would be fine, if there was a rational principle involved,” he wrote. “It’s not being forced to be vaccinated, since no one is forcing you. If you are so righteously committed to the principle, then don’t play professional basketball. Stand firm on that principle. Unless money trumps principle… The problem with that vague philosophy is that the rest of us pay for those sloppy thinkers because they are the ones clogging our hospitals, crushing our economy, and keeping us from our loved ones.”
While the NBA has not made its own vaccine mandate, neither they nor the NBPA have the means to fight local government regulations. In cities like San Francisco and New York City - home to three combined NBA teams - players who do not get vaccinated will not be permitted to step foot into crowded sports arenas.
As a result, Wiggins, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, and other unvaccinated players on their teams will not be allowed to play home games until they get vaccinated.
But the anti-vaxxers have held out this long already. So it seems unlikely that even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can convince them otherwise.