NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is encouraging everyone who is eligible — especially those in the Black community — to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We have to get on the side of the facts,” Abdul-Jabbar told host Alex Cohen on Inside the Issues. “I believe that the vaccines are here to save lives and enable us to get past this moment.”

What You Need To Know

  • NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Inside the Issues that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective

  • Abdul-Jabbar added that the star power of athletes can convince skeptical people of the shots’ effectiveness

  • The Lakers legend received his COVID-19 vaccine in a public setting

Adbul-Jabbar added that he believes the “virus is a lot worse than the vaccine.”

“Until people see the facts of it, they’ll be skeptics,” he said. “But I think as time goes on, they’ll see that more and more, the vaccine is effective and is what we need for this horrible situation that we’re in.”

The 73-year-old NBA all-time leading scorer explained how he got vaccinated in a public way to show it is safe. He is aware that some in the Black community are skeptical of medical advancements, citing the Tuskegee study during the 20th century.

“I would want people to understand that, despite the unfortunate history that many communities might have with the medical profession, this is a new day,” he said.

Last month, Abdul-Jabbar penned an op-ed in The New York Times to advocate for some high-profile NBA players getting vaccine priority. He argued the star power of athletes can convince skeptical people of the shots’ effectiveness.

“Vaccinations are going to save lives, possibly your own life. So, why not do it?”

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