Legendary NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabar has written a lengthy post at his Substack page explaining why Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has damaged the reputation of professional athletes when he misled the public about being fully vaccinated.
Abdul-Jabar argues that Rodgers "didn't just lie" about his vaccination status, but did something much worse that he believes has set back athletes' efforts to improve their reputations.
In particular, Abdul-Jabar called out Rodgers for consulting with podcaster Joe Rogan when weighing the costs and benefits of vaccinations.
"If he ever requires open-heart surgery will he hand the scalpel to romance writers because they know about matters of the heart?" quipped the 19-time NBA All-Star.
More seriously, Abdul-Jabar said Rodgers has hurt athletes' ability to influence positive change in society by reinforcing negative stereotypes about them.
"Rodgers' ignorance regarding the science of immunology brings back to life the old stereotype of the big dumb jock," he writes. "His utter lack of even the most basic knowledge and logic is shocking. In an effort to defend his lying, he stated, 'This idea that it's a pandemic of the unvaccinated, it's just a total lie... If the vaccine is so great, then how come people are still getting covid and spreading covid and, unfortunately dying of covid?'"
Abdul-Jabar proceeded to take this claim to the woodshed.
"Those two statements don't even belong together," he wrote. "Statistics from many sources conclude that around 97 percent of those being hospitalized or who have died in the past several months are unvaccinated. The CDC found that the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die than those vaccinated. If he thinks that's a lie, what credible evidence does he have? None."