NBA icon criticizes LeBron James for COVID-19 social media post: ‘A blow to his worthy legacy’

FILE - Los Angeles Lakers greats pose after the unveiling of a statue of Minneapolis and Los...
FILE - Los Angeles Lakers greats pose after the unveiling of a statue of Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers player Elgin Baylor, second from left, outside Staples Center in Los Angeles in this Friday, April 6, 2018, file photo. From left are Jerry West, Baylor, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, musician Bill Withers, and Shaquille O'Neal. Elgin Baylor, the Lakers’ 11-time NBA All-Star, died Monday, March 22, 2021, of natural causes. He was 86. The Lakers announced that Baylor died in Los Angeles with his wife, Elaine, and daughter Krystal by his side.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)(AP)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 12:02 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - LeBron James is facing some backlash for a recent social media meme he shared on Instagram seemingly comparing COVID-19 with the common cold and the flu.

“Help me out folks,” is the caption James used for the Christmas Eve post that was shared to his 106 million Instagram followers.

Hall of famer and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one to speak out against James’ post, calling it “a blow to his worthy legacy,” by citing various studies and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that highlights racial inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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. Well, since he asked, let me help him out by explaining the difference—and how knowing that difference might save lives, especially in the Black community,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote in an online newsletter.

Abdul-Jabbar praised James for his work off the court within the African-American community with regards to police brutality, but said he would also like to see the Northeast Ohio native use his platforms to address vaccine hesitancy, particularly among Blacks.

“One way to help the Black community to overcome their hesitancy and save lives is for prominent Black celebrities and influencers to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and their boosters,” Abdul-Jabbar added.

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