In addition to being one of the greatest basketball players to ever step foot on the court, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is also one of the best leaders off the court. His thoughtfulness and willingness to speak his mind has made him one of the most influential players the world of sports has ever seen.
The Lakers star has never been afraid to speak up on anything that he felt was necessary regardless of potential repercussions and has done a ton of work to uplift his community.
But a recent LeBron James Instagram post of his has sparked some controversy: The LeBron James COVID 19 fiasco. He posted a meme with many believing it is spreading a terrible message concerning the ongoing coronavirus outbreak around the world.
If there is another Lakers legend who has also always spoken up on social issues, it’s the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Unfortunately for LeBron, he had some harsh words to share on the topic.
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Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the LeBron COVID meme >
On his personal Substack, Abdul-Jabbar wrote about LeBron’s post, believing it was a blow to his legacy and implies a lack of knowledge when it comes to the difference between COVID, the flu, and the common cold:
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. But his Thursday Instagram meme showing three cartoon Spider-Men pointing at each other-one labeled ‘covid,’ one labeled ‘flu,’ one labeled ‘cold’-with his message: “Help me out folks” 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.
Just like the rest of the NBA, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and LeBron James have a reputation to uphold. Basketball stars have a platform, and they need to be mindful of how they share their feelings and opinions.
Everything athletes do or say on social media is subject to intense scrutiny, but James is probably at the top of the list because of that legacy he has built for himself.
LeBron is extremely intelligent and has made great strides with years of making statements that exist beyond the game of basketball. But throwing stones at a very serious public health issue has struck a chord with many. In no way does a post on Instagram undo the litany of great things that LeBron has done for so many around the world, but that only served to raise expectations and someone of Abdul-Jabbar’s stature has no problem calling LeBron out if he doesn’t feel like he’s meeting them.
Was his intention to criticize LeBron, or give him a wakeup call to use his platform differently? Regardless, COVID 19 is still considered a threat around the globe and should be taken seriously based on recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Abdul-Jabbar ‘excited’ for James to break all-time scoring mark
Aside from picking a side of the fence related to a COVID 19 meme, there’s one thing to get excited about: LeBron James breaking records.
When it comes to the on-the-court things, James has a very real chance to do what many thought was impossible in breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time leading scorer record. LeBron continues to inch closer and the legendary Lakers center is excited for him to break it.
Kareem sees that as a true accomplishment and said he will be right there cheering James on if and when that time comes that the record is surpassed.
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