- Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has weighed in on basketball players who refuse the vaccine.
- Johnson told CBS that players who opt out of getting the COVID-19 jab are “letting down” their teammates.
- He said he would “never do that” to his teammates if not getting the vaccine would hurt his team’s championship chances.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has weighed in on basketball players who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking to CBS on Monday, Johnson, who has been an outspoken advocate of the COVID-19 shot, said that players who refuse the vaccine are “letting down” their teammates.
“You have said to your teammates, ‘I’m gonna be there for you,'” Johnson said. “Well, you can’t be there if you don’t get vaccinated. You’re letting them down. And then that hurts our chances of winning a championship. I would never do that to my teammates. Never.”
According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times, the entire Lakers team has been fully vaccinated.
Johnson told CBS that he opted to get vaccinated at a public event back in March to advocate for the COVID-19 jab.
“I got my two shots and made sure I put it out on social media,” Johnson told CBS. “I wanted, especially my community, to know, first of all, it’s safe. And the players, again, people listen to them, they follow them. That’s very important.”
While Johnson did not mention him during the interview, one of the most notable instances of a player refusing to get the COVID-19 jab is Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. Last week, the Nets announced that Irving would not be allowed to play or practice with the team or participate in indoor home games in light of New York’s vaccine mandate.
Irving recently spoke up about his decision to not get the COVID-19 jab, saying he is doing “what feels good for me.” However, his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine has thrown his $186 million contract extension and his future with the team into question.
Earlier this year, another basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, called out Irving for his refusal to get vaxxed.
Abdul-Jabbar told CNN unvaccinated NBA players should be “disciplined.”
“I don’t think they are behaving like good teammates or good citizens,” he said.
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