ESPN’s blog, The Undefeated, jumped down LeBron James’ throat for not calling on all NBA players to submit to COVID-19 vaccinations. The coronavirus pandemic is actually an act of social justice and a fight for equality rivaling opposition to police brutality, says The Undefeated’s senior writer David Dennis Jr.
That’s quite a stretch. But Dennis was only getting warmed up in his sensationalistic piece.
James and Golden State rival Draymond Green both defended the right of players to make their own choices on vaccines. Separating COVID-19 vaccines from the social justice work that both men have pursued is unacceptable, Dennis says:
The problem with this logic is that it misses the fact that fighting COVID-19 is an act of social justice work and a fight for equality tantamount to fighting police brutality or any other act of anti-Black violence. What James fails to realize here is that the way COVID-19 is impacting the Black community is an offshoot of the same racism that renders Black folks victims of extrajudicial killings.
Furthermore, Dennis makes the bizarre claim that the greater likelihood of blacks to die from COVID-19 is due to structural, medical and environmental racism. Allegedly, Green contributes to this by not speaking out against vaccination holdouts. When Green said the following, he was part of the problem, not the solution:
You say we live in the land of the free? Well, you’re not giving anyone freedom because you’re making people do something, essentially. Without necessarily making them, you’re making them do something.
To Dennis, Green missed the point that many black folks didn’t have a choice to resist the coronavirus because they’re more likely to work in low-income jobs that force them into closer proximity to one another. And they’re more likely to be in jail and catch the virus there because their “liberties and freedom of choice have been taken away.”
LeBron and Draymond should be fighting all of this.
Dennis also wonders if these two NBA players would have the same “nonchalance about their teammates’ bodies if they were to refuse, say, MCL surgery that could help them make a speedier return to the court.” This is a pretty pathetic analogy because no otherwise healthy young athlete is going to die from knee surgery or suffer the adverse reactions some people have experienced with coronavirus vaccines.
Taking another stab at this apples-and-oranges comparison, Dennis cites the 2016 ESPY’s appearance by James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade when they spoke of fighting for black lives in the wake of gun violence and police brutality. They said,
Let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence. And most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.
More black people need to realize that protecting themselves from the coronavirus is “just as dire an issue for Black folks,” Dennis insists. “Encouraging vaccination is a continuation of the work that they (the NBA players who spoke at the ESPY’s in 2016) asked of us five years ago.”
The ESPN Undefeated writer also says that Kyrie Irving and other vaccination resisters are perpetuating the possible spread of an epidemic ravaging black folks and this contradicts every statement they’ve ever made about standing for black folks in America. They can no longer be trusted when they speak of how black lives matter.
The dictatorial Democrats could not have stated this anti-freedom, race-baiting sentiment any better than Dennis.