Monday, ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith voiced his disappointment in Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who broke the NBA’s coronavirus restrictions by attending a promotional event on May 19. The event required proof of vaccination or a negative test.
On CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” Smith called into question James’ silence on his vaccination status after being so outspoken on so many other issues. He said it is “beneath” what everyone has come to expect from James.
“We have seen Lebron James speak on a plethora of issues, speak very educated-wise, very intelligently about a plethora of issues. He is definitely more than capable of speaking for himself. He’s not just a smart dude. He is brilliant. Make no mistake about it. He’s something special,” Smith emphasized. “And when you listen to him speak on the issues he’s spoken about, it’s thought-provoking, he’s obviously done his research, he knows what the hell he’s talking about, etcetera, etcetera. And he’s enlightened us about a lot of things he feels and how in-tune he is with what’s going on, not just in our society as a whole but throughout the world. He has spoken on a multitude of issues on many occasions. He hasn’t spoken about this … despite numerous opportunities that he’s had to do so.”
He continued, “Obviously, that will raise an antenna and make you wonder why he insists on not speaking on such a thing at all, particularly when he recognizes how it’s ravaged our nation, how it’s ravaged the world globally, and what kind of profound impact this has had on our communities. That’s why I said what I said, because optics matter, particularly when it comes to LeBron James. You put yourself in this position, you know it’s going to conjure up questions. And to give those weak answers that he gave the other day when asked about it before a playoff game against the Phoenix Suns, I just thought it was beneath what we’ve come to know, appreciate and fully expect from LeBron James. And in that particular instance, he was a flagrant disappointment.”
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