Lebron James confirms vaccination, but says ‘everyone has their own choice’
The Lakers star admitted he was initially skeptical but said "it was best suited for not only me but for my family and for my friends."
Lakers star LeBron James confirmed Tuesday that he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I know that for me I can speak about myself,” James said at his team’s media day on Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reports. “I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family, and things of that nature. I know that I was very [skeptical] about it all, but after doing my research, and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and for my friends, and that’s why I decided to do it.”
Last December, then US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams asked the Lakers superstar to “take the shot” to help convince others to do the same, theGRIO reported.
Adams said during an appearance on KTLA 5 that he hoped James, who has a school in his native Akron, Ohio, and has been a vocal leader in the social justice movement, would “take the shot” to encourage others, especially African Americans, to do the same.
“LeBron James, I know you’ve been a big supporter of masks. I want to know when you’re going to take the shot. Not the basketball shot, but the COVID shot. Because I did it because I know it’s safe, and we want to make sure people understand this is how we end the pandemic,” Adams said at the time.
Adams also shared his belief that James would help make the vaccine seem safe for others, given his stature and community activism.
Rob Pelinka, Lakers president of basketball operations, recently noted that all active players are expected to be vaccinated by their first game on Oct. 19, per the report.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis said Tuesday that he took the jab “for my family.”
“I just wanted to make sure I would always protect my family, and that was first and foremost, and myself and everyone else around me,” Davis added. “And I feel like everyone on the team feels the same way.”
As the NBA is scheduled to begin the 2021-2022 season next month, COVID-19-related regulations are being enforced in the cities of New York and San Francisco. Despite there not being a league-wide mandate for players to get vaccinated, the NBA has singled out those two specific cities, which affect the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors, theGRIO reported.
In addition, the San Francisco Department of Public Health also announced on Friday that exemptions from the vaccine for those over the age of 12 will not be considered, as reported by ESPN.
With the exceptions of the Warriors, Knicks and Nets, all other NBA teams will only require daily COVID-19 tests for players and coaches on practice, travel and game days, according to ESPN. Currently, 90% of all NBA players are fully vaccinated, as per Bleacher Report. The WNBA announced their vaccination rate is 99%, theGrio reported.
Andrew Wiggins, starting small forward for the Golden State Warriors, recently requested a religious exemption to having to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The NBA has denied that request, according to CBS Sports.
“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events. Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements,” the NBA said in a statement.
This article contains additional reporting from Tonya Pendleton and Matthew Allen.
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