Kareem Abdul-Jabbar believes LeBron James tarnished his legacy by sharing a COVID-19 meme on Instagram.
On Monday, the Lakers legend wrote a blog post blasting James, titled, “Dear LeBron: Here’s the COVID-19 Help You Requested in Your Spider-Man Meme.”
Two days prior, James shared the aforementioned meme that showed three Spiderman characters pointing at each other, labeled, “COVID,” “Flu” and “Cold.”
The Lakers star captioned his Instagram post, “Help me out folks.”
Abdul-Jabbar described the meme as “uninformed,” and said, “LeBron has encouraged vaccine hesitancy which puts lives and livelihoods at risk.”
Abdul-Jabbar wrote, “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.”
He concluded, “While LeBron is a necessary and dynamic voice critical of police brutality against the Black community, he needs to be the same necessary and dynamic advocate with vaccines, which could save thousands of Black lives right now.”
James, who has said he is vaccinated against COVID-19, has not yet responded to Abdul-Jabbar’s latest message.
In September, James said “that’s not my job” while discussing why he won’t be an advocate for vaccines against coronavirus.
“You guys know me, anything I talk about, I don’t talk about other people and what they should do. I speak for me and my family. That’s what it’s about,” James said. “We’re talking about individual bodies. We’re not talking about something political, or racism or police brutality. We’re talking about people’s bodies and well-being. I don’t think I personally should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and livelihoods.”
James’ Spider-Man meme was received much differently by fellow NBA players and celebrities.
Hawks guard Trae Young left a “100” emoji in the comments, while rapper Fabolous added a crying-laughing emoji. Actor Jamie Foxx wrote, “Gotta point haha.”
This isn’t the first time Abdul-Jabbar has criticized James’ handling of COVID-19, among other public issues.
Earlier this month, Abdul-Jabbar also took a shot at James for his “big balls” celebration after a Lakers win over the Pistons. James was fined $15,000 by the NBA for the gesture, which Abdul-Jabbar called “childish.”