LeBron James accused of sharing ‘dangerous’ Covid meme
NBA icon LeBron James ignited social media debate after sharing a meme which suggests there’s no difference between Covid and the common cold or flu.
James posted a variation of the famous ‘Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man’ meme with his 106 million followers on Instagram, adding the labels ‘covid’, ‘cold’ and ‘flu’ to each figure.
“Help me out folks,” James, 36, wrote along with a ‘shrugging’ emoji.
Some claimed the post was a controversial message from the LA Lakers king.
“This is far too reductionist and plays into and reinforces a lot of the misinformation we've had over the past 2 years about ‘it’s just the flu’,” tweeted Dr Rajpal Brar.
“Yes, the landscape of Covid is changing and our tools are changing but portraying it like this isn't the way to do it.”
One fan said that as "the face of the NBA" James should be more responsible with his messaging, labeling the meme “dangerous and insensitive”.
This is far too reductionist and plays into and reinforces a lot of the misinformation we've had over the past 2 years about "it's just the flu". Yes, the landscape of COVID is changing and our tools are changing but portraying it like this isn't the way to do it— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) December 24, 2021
The “face of the league” is telling the world, because of his personal inconvenience (due to HIS choosing of a roster), that Covid is the same as a cold. That’s dangerous and insensitive on so many levels. We all know how influential he is. https://t.co/69jahCLHUK— L-Dot (@clarkkent415) December 24, 2021
James, who is fully vaccinated, was recently confined to the sidelines after a false positive Covid test.
Ryan Cole of the Athletic argued that the Lakers star could merely be venting his frustrations at the NBA’s testing process and Covid protocols – but still called the post “bad”.
Maybe I’m reading the post wrong…but was LeBron not referring to the similarity of symptoms and kind of how that confuses an accurate diagnosis? I’m guessing this is a result of so many players in H&S protocols?— Ry (@JustRyCole) December 24, 2021
LeBron will be asked to clarify his comments tomorrow and we may find out what he meant ..Either the way, the spider man meme is a poor thing to use in this instance to get your point across…I’m imagining most people believe he’s saying that all 3 are the same That is bad.— Ry (@JustRyCole) December 24, 2021
Others, though, were delighted by the message. Barstool Sports boss Dave Portnoy said he and James could finally agree on something.
It happened. Lebron and I finally agreed on something. pic.twitter.com/t0pb9sM29F— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 24, 2021
Spurs beat LeBron so bad he turned MAGA?— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) December 24, 2021
The Lakers have been hit by the loss of a host of stars due to Covid-19 protocols, but James will at least line up as they take on the Brooklyn Nets for their Christmas Day game.
The Nets will also be without several big names, including MVP candidate Kevin Durant, but will be able to call on James Harden.
Four-time NBA champion James tweeted that he was “excited” about the game, which will see him tie late Lakers icon Kobe Bryant for the most Christmas Day appearances ever in the NBA with 16.
Dayumm I’m excited to play tomorrow on Xmas!! It just hit me. Merry Xmas to everyone! Love y’all 👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 25, 2021