Videos by OutKick
LeBron James decided years back he would become an activist in hopes the second gig would make him even richer than basketball has. It worked. Somewhere in the process, though, LeBron miscalculated. He didn’t realize that being a spokesperson for the country’s most pressing issues also requires him to speak on topics that may not bolster his bottom line. While the media has accepted that LeBron won’t dare utter a word against China, it has been less accepting of his bizarre commentary on the COVID vaccine.
Surprisingly, someone other than OutKick finally said so. Even more surprisingly, it was Stephen A. Smith, who took a break from highly-flawed race-baiting on Monday to call James out.
“You either want to be out front and center, bringing a voice to issues,” Smith yelled. “Or you don’t!
Here’s the good part:
“Everybody has the right to their own privacy. You don’t wanna let people know whether you took the vaccine or not, that is your business. But there’s a whole bunch of things that LeBron James has elected to speak up about that he felt was a detriment to our community because he’s a leader and he wanted to bring attention and a voice to matters he felt compelled to speak up. But on the matter of the vaccine, you got nothing to say all of these months. Nah. It don’t work that way.”
That’s the problem, the whole problem.
On its face, it’s unreasonable to demand an athlete speak up about a virus shot, which he probably doesn’t know anything about. But given LeBron’s recent history, Smith and others likely expect him to speak out anyway.
Whether LeBron is vaccinated or is the new dictionary definition of an “anti-vaxxer,” he views himself as too good for the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which he just violated by attending a tequila promotional event last week.
The NBA, as Charles Barkley put it, didn’t have the balls to suspend LeBron. And LeBron isn’t worried about backlash either, calling it “not a big deal.”
Smith got angry about that too:
“He should be ashamed of himself, LeBron James should be ashamed of himself. It was weak, his response to it was leaderless, it was inexcusable for him not to provide a better explanation.”
Though I enjoyed seeing Stephen A. Smith pound LeBron, we really shouldn’t encourage LeBron to talk more about anything. There are enough problems in this country.