Kareem Abdul-Jabbar promotes vaccinations: ‘Let’s do this together’

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Ashley Terrell
·2 min read
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‘For myself and my family, I am going to take the COVID-19 vaccine,’ the NBA legend said

Former Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined fellow basketball players in an effort to encourage the general public to take the coronavirus vaccine.

The 73-year-old appeared in a NBA-authorized PSA where he was seen wearing a mask and receiving the vaccine.

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar looks on during the game between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on October 26, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar looks on during the game between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on October 26, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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“Because of the COVID-19 virus, we’ve had to learn new ways to be together. We’ve had to find new ways to communicate. We have to find new ways to play, and we have to find new ways to keep each other safe,” Abdul-Jabbar said in the video. “For myself and my family, I am going to take the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Abdul-Jabbar endorsed taking the COVID-19 vaccine after opening up about his health history. He was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2009 and had prostate cancer and heart bypass surgery, according to an essay he wrote for WebMD.

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Abdul-Jabbar said one of the reasons he became a UCLA Health Ambassador was to be a source for Black Americans, saying, ” I wanted to reach out to the Black community to make sure they were receiving the medical and health information that could save their lives, just as it had saved mine.”

Read More: Black Americans getting vaccinated less than white Americans

According to USA Today, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league “won’t jump the line” for players to receive the vaccine ahead of frontline workers, elders, and others with preexisting conditions, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are the highest priority to receive vaccinations.

“We will wait our turn to get the vaccine. When you think about the logistical feat that now the federal and state governments are undertaking, where if every citizen ultimately requires two doses and with a population of over 300 million,” Silver said at a press conference in December. “It’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine.”

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