LeBron James found himself at the center of controversy earlier this week when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly criticized him. James had posted a meme on his Instagram that seemed to imply COVID-19 is no different than the flu or the common cold, presumably a result of the frustration he and his fellow NBA players feel about the COVID outbreak decimating rosters around the league.
Abdul-Jabbar saw this and published an essay on his Substack (a wild sentence) slamming the Los Angeles Lakers superstar for spreading COVID misinformation, an especially egregious offense given the platform James has. Titled "Dear LeBron: Here’s the COVID-19 Help You Requested in Your Spider-Man Meme," KAJ said the meme was a blow to James' legacy and that he's refusing to help the Black community by declining to engage in vaccine awareness.
Abdul-Jabbar has long been heralded as an ideal for athletes trying to fight for social justice. When he talks, people listen. When asked about the essay after the Lakers' win over the Houston Rockets last night, James had nothing to say. Well, he said a lot, but it didn't really make sense and his final answer was that he had no answer to Abdul-Jabbar.
It is a borderline nonsensical answer, and plenty of people did not forget about the flu. There's some implication at work here but it's hard to garner exactly what it is. Who knows? Only James does.
The superstar had several days to consider a response and this is what he landed on. That speaks for itself.