Stephen A. Smith speaks out on LeBron’s response regarding COVID-19 vaccine: ‘This is not the time to get private’

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Over the weekend, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James issued a strange response when asked if he plans on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ultimately, his response cast doubt on whether or not James plans to get vaccinated at all.

On Tuesday, famed sports pundit Stephen A. Smith issued a strong message to James on the subject.

“Well this is a very delicate conversation, and I want to address it with the seriousness that it deserves,” Smith began. “In being completely respectful to LeBron James, I want to emphasize that LeBron James has the right to feel that way. To some people it’s an incredibly private situation. As a Black man, considering this nation’s history and its unethical behavior when it came to using Black folks as guinea pigs in our eyes, I definitely understand the hesitation and apprehension on his part.”

Smith then went on to admit that he had held his own reservations about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. He then said that despite those previous apprehensions, he has decided to take the vaccine “today.”

Moments later, Smith issued a direct plea to James.

“I say this to LeBron James, my brother, all of our brothers, who’s an incredibly, incredibly influential figure,” Smith said. “I would say to him, he has taken positions on many, many, many things of incredible importance to our community. One could easily argue when you see the amount of deaths that have come associated with COVID-19, it’s very little that he has encountered that is more challenging or daunting than this, and if you could speak up about those things, you just might want to think about speaking up about this.

“I’m not going to say, ‘I think he should.’ I think he should, but I’m not going to engage in condemnation or anything like that because I do understand where he’s coming from. I truly do. But because he is who he is, and he’s acknowledged who he is, this is not the time to get private. Not on this. And that’s why I decided I’m not going to be private about it as well. I will be taking the vaccine. I will take my first dose today.”

Over recent years, Smith has become one of the most important voices connected to the NBA. He is as intelligent as he is passionate, and his words undoubtedly support that.

Hopefully, Smith’s words play a role in convincing James to issue additional statements regarding his decision.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.