So LeBron James got vaccinated after ‘doing his research’ – why should we care what he thinks?
NBA star LeBron James has finally confirmed he received his Covid vaccine after 'doing his research'. But why should we care what he thinks, and do we really need to take our cue from him and other sports stars as vaccine sages?
The man has at long last spoken.
After being hounded by reporters since the spring, and refusing to come out explicitly to say whether he had or hadn't, we can all sleep easy now knowing that LeBron James has indeed had his jabs to protect him against Covid with the new season fast approaching.
"I know that I was very (skeptical) about it all but after doing my research. I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and my friends," James said at a media day on Tuesday.
LeBron James explains his decision to get vaccinated, but wanting to respect others for whether they decide to get it pic.twitter.com/khPH3NePAX— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 28, 2021
First of all, let's cut James some slack for a change.
A divisive character who seemingly has an opinion on everything, James has promoted freedom of choice in a league where vaccination rates stand at 90% but getting jabbed technically isn't mandatory (even though restrictions are tightening against the unvaccinated).
"Everyone has their own choice — to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature," James said.
"We're talking about individuals' bodies.
"We're not talking about something that's, you know, political or racism or police brutality.
"So I don't feel like, for me personally, I should get involved in what other people should do with their bodies and their livelihoods."
I’m glad he is vaccinated. That will have a good impact, hopefully.But did his own research?? Really?He’s better at research than the CDC?🤷🏻♀️— Kathryn Quigley (@WriterChickNJ) September 28, 2021
As preachy as he can get (and sometimes, ironically, he even seems to incite racial hatred rather than quell it), we can look to James to teach us about the black experience and what it is like to grow up as an African-American in the inner-city US.
But must we turn to him as an authority on a subject like Covid and taking the vaccine? What does James have to add to the argument on such an important issue?
Have we learned nothing from the adoration of Bill Gates, who was seen as the all-knowing sage and whose words were imbued with all kinds of preposterous authority at the onset of the pandemic?
Even LeBron himself pretty much admits that people should make their own minds up and that he is out of his depth.
Why was he hounded to such an extent, as though his word would be make or break, and why are sports stars in general?
Hey get the vaccine now! LeBron James announced today he did his research and decided to get one. I know a lot of you didn’t ask your Doctor 8 months ago you were waiting for a basketball player to do his “research” #WTF@DrsMeenapic.twitter.com/JoVrVoKPTB— Todd N Tyler (@tntradioempire) September 28, 2021
Furthermore, what possible research could LeBron have done himself which shifts people one way or another?
"Hey get the vaccine now!" as one punter on Twitter sarcastically pointed out.
"LeBron James announced today [that] he did his research and decided to get one. I know a lot of you didn’t ask your doctor eight months ago, you were waiting for a basketball player to do his 'research'."
I like Lebron James. But “after doing my research”—come on. Did he fund a private study? Maybe he & Nikki had matching lab coats? Damn this celeb trend of not listening to the damn experts *LIKE THE CDC* in the first place. https://t.co/RNdnDyhKJa— ndweiss, Brokedown Palace, Diabolical Jezebel (@11tulips) September 29, 2021
The same logic could be applied to the two biggest stars in the world's biggest sport, football icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Certain corners are clamoring for them to say something, to make a post to their hundreds of millions of followers on social media with their thumbs up and vaccine card in hand, accompanied by a carefully PR team-written caption.
Why should they push an agenda one way or the other?Also on rt.com ‘I was very skeptical’: NBA icon James backs Covid jabs, shuns parallels with speaking out on politics, racism & police brutality
In football's English Premier League, the authorities are apparently going to great pains (and unsurprisingly struggling) to get big names to sign up to campaigns that encourage fellow professionals to get their jabs done.
If like LeBron they are in favor of freedom of choice, just let them be.
Leave them to do what they do best.
And, again as with James, leave us to make our own choices and judge which genuine, qualified experts we should listen to.
If anyone, it is the latter party's words that should take preference. Not those from moneyed stars of courts and pitches.
By Tom Sanderson
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.