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Why Athletes Need to Lead the Drive to Vaccinate

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  • Why Athletes Need to Lead the Drive to Vaccinate

    We Have a Duty to Use Our Platform to Save Lives
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    A couple years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world the way the Chicxulub meteor collided with the Earth 66 million years ago, wiping out 75 percent of plant and animal life, including dinosaurs. If it were up to those contemporary dinosaurs refusing to get vaccines or denying the seriousness of the global pandemic, we’d lumber toward extinction like the previous custodians of the Earth.

    Despite my decades of fighting the kind of voluntary ignorance that allows racism to still have such a stranglehold on our country, I’ve maintained a cautious optimism about people. I believe when given the opportunity most want to do the right thing. But that optimism has been greatly tested these past few months as I see so many people refusing to protect their families, their communities, and their country.

    Let’s start with these facts: 4.55 million people in the world have died from COVID-19, 688,000 of them in the U.S. To put it in perspective, US deaths from COVID-19 are more than twice that of US military deaths in World War II. And it keeps growing by about 7,500 deaths every day. So far, more than 42 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with about 120,000 more new cases each day.


    Magic Johnson gets vaccinated against COVID-19.

    COVID-19 has changed how we live, how we work, how we play, how we interact with family and friends. It has pummeled the economy with daily body blows, some of them below the belt.

    And yet, we rise.

    We rise because we have the intellectual ability to learn from the past and we have the instinctual drive to protect our children and preserve humanity. The world has faced the cruelty of pandemics in the past: the 14th Century’s Black Plague killed between 75 and 200 million people, the Spanish Flu killed between 17 and 100 million people, and so on. Each time we study, we analyze, we devise solutions. We do this through science. And each time, science has to fight the ignorance of the people it is trying to save as vigorously as it fights the diseases killing them. It’s like diving into the lake to save a drowning man who refuses to take off his ankle weights. Worse, he’s holding onto his children while he’s sinking.

    And yet, we rise. We rise because we refuse to let that man drown, even if it’s his fault. Even if he wants to. Because, as poet John Donne said, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man/is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” We are all interconnected—our fates are interwoven.

    Which is why it’s so shocking and disappointing to see so many people, especially people of color, treat the vaccination like it’s just a matter of personal preference, like ordering no onions on your burger at a drive-thru. While I can understand the vaccine hesitancy of those who have been historically marginalized and even abused by the health care system, enough scientific documentation has been given to the public to set that past behind us for now. Yes, we should never forget. Those experiences should sharpen our critical thinking to not accept things blindly. But it doesn’t mean we reject things blindly. The drowning man doesn’t ask if a racist made the life preserver keeping him afloat, only that it works to save his life.

    Athletes and other celebrities have a public platform to help alleviate this crisis and to save lives. To not take on that responsibility harms the sports and entertainment industries, the community, and the country. Those who claim they need to do “more research” are simply announcing they have done no research, because the overwhelming consensus of immunologists and other medical experts is that the vaccine is effective and safe. And will prevent the unnecessary deaths of thousands. As I’ve said before, this position only perpetuates the stereotype of the dumb jock who’s only in sports for the money. It dehumanizes the victims as nothing more than political fodder.



    The anti-expert stance that anti-vaxxers take reveals the fuzziest of thinking. Everyone expects scientists to solve all of our main problems: global warming, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. Unless these same experts tell us we have to actually do something to help fix the problems. Then we stop trusting them. But I assure you that when an athlete has a broken leg or heart attack or their child is in an accident, they don’t say to the doctors, “Don’t do anything until I do more research.” They beg the medical experts to help.

    The dark reality is that those who promote hesitancy and “more research” have blood on their hands. Worse, the kind of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience pundits spread is the kind of selective “science” that white people used to justify enslaving Black people. Drapetomania was a malady coined by a doctor in 1851: slaves ran away because of their smaller brains and blood vessels combined with their natural tendencies toward indolence and barbarism. This theory lasted for a hundred years. Many other “scientific” ideas about Black inferiority have been spread throughout America’s history and are still popular today. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-LGBTQ+ all thrive in the addled minds of flat-Earth thinking. For Black athletes or entertainers to give this same anti-vax pseudo-science any oxygen is to allow the other crackpot theories to co-exist that justify marginalizing others.

    If individual athletes can’t muster the courage to do the right thing, then the NBA and every other league governing body must step in and mandate vaccinations for players, coaches, and staff in order to protect the team, the fans, and the community. Players are free to choose not to get vaccinated, but they should have the courage of their moral convictions to sit out the season, sustained in the righteousness of their choice. They’ve already proven they are not team players.

    John Donne also wrote that “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” We must all step up to help each other, not just because it’s practical for our survival, but because it’s a shared value that enriches us. Isaac Hayes high-fives Donne’s sentiment in “Theme from Shaft” when he says, “Who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?”

    That’s why we rise.

  • #2
    Each of us has a responsibility to preach to those whom we are uniquely able to reach.

    Comment


    • #3
      You might want to focus on a different set of entertainers, namely female singers in that it is folks like Niki Minaj and Rihanna that are the new faces of vaxx resistance.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Perhaps you want us to listen to Bradley Beal?
        https://www.yahoo.com/sports/bradley...201102441.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          You might want to focus on a different set of entertainers, namely female singers in that it is folks like Niki Minaj and Rihanna that are the new faces of vaxx resistance.
          That's a job for people they will listen to, like Mr. Jabbar, and that is the point of this thread.

          Comment


          • #6
            It would be great if the China flu vax was actually worth a hill of beans, but we know beyond any doubt that it doesn't stop you from contracting the virus, it doesn't stop you from spreading the virus (in fact, those who have received the treatments could be called super-spreaders), and it doesn't stop you from becoming deathly ill from the virus. And that's assuming you don't suffer direct harm from the so-called "vaccine" itself.

            As basketball player Charles Barkley famously said, "I'm not a role model." Athletes are not physicians, either, so forgive me if I decline to follow their medical advice.
            Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
            But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
            Than a fool in the eyes of God


            From "Fools Gold" by Petra

            Comment


            • #7
              Sigh... yet another instance of ignoring natural immunity...
              That's what
              - She

              Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
              - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

              I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
              Stephen R. Donaldson

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                As basketball player Charles Barkley famously said, "I'm not a role model." Athletes are not physicians, either, so forgive me if I decline to follow their medical advice.
                I'm not a big fan of using entertainers as "experts" (remember all the Congressional hearing where actors would be called to testify as expert witnesses based upon the role they had on TV or in the movies?) to tell others how they should behave and act.

                Far more often than not they are pretty clueless about the subject they pontificate on. Merely reading their lines that were handed to them. Look at Lebron James hyperventilating over every perceived racial or social injustice all the while licking Xi's boots and scolding those who dare criticize China.

                Moreover, I don't want to give them any more influence than they already have and never deserved.

                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                  Sigh... yet another instance of ignoring natural immunity...
                  [with intended irony] Sigh...yes like polio, smallpox, or tuberculosis. Just let them get natural immunity [leading to possible disfigurement or disability]- or death.
                  "It ain't necessarily so
                  The things that you're liable
                  To read in the Bible
                  It ain't necessarily so
                  ."

                  Sportin' Life
                  Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                    Perhaps you want us to listen to Bradley Beal?
                    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/bradley...201102441.html
                    hehe, I was going to link that!
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                      [with intended irony] Sigh...yes like polio, smallpox, or tuberculosis. Just let them get natural immunity [leading to possible disfigurement or disability]- or death.
                      Once again, your inability to comprehend basic English seems to have steered you wrong. Cow Poke is obviously not suggesting that people deliberately try to acquire natural immunity from the China flu. Rather, he is pointing out the fact that those who have already contracted and recovered from the China flu have a natural immunity that is not being taken into account by the vax pushers.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                        Once again, your inability to comprehend basic English seems to have steered you wrong. Cow Poke @Bill the Cat is obviously not suggesting that people deliberately try to acquire natural immunity from the China flu. Rather, he is pointing out the fact that those who have already contracted and recovered from the China flu have a natural immunity that is not being taken into account by the vax pushers.
                        FIFY n/c

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                          Once again, your inability to comprehend basic English seems to have steered you wrong. Cow Poke is obviously not suggesting that people deliberately try to acquire natural immunity from the China flu. Rather, he is pointing out the fact that those who have already contracted and recovered from the China flu have a natural immunity that is not being taken into account by the vax pushers.
                          Once again your "inability to" read "seems to have steered you wrong". I was replying to @Bill the Cat.
                          "It ain't necessarily so
                          The things that you're liable
                          To read in the Bible
                          It ain't necessarily so
                          ."

                          Sportin' Life
                          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            Once again your "inability to" read "seems to have steered you wrong". I was replying to @Bill the Cat.
                            Good rejoinder. Doesn't change the fact that you failed to comprehend what was being said.
                            Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                            But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                            Than a fool in the eyes of God


                            From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The athletes want everybody to be vaccinated so they can continue having tens of thousands of people attend their sports events so they can continue to rake in millions of dollars. I mean, don’t you know that with stadiums and arenas empty for a good part of last year that the poor babies have lost so much!
                              Last edited by mossrose; 09-28-2021, 12:18 PM.


                              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                              Comment

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