LeBron James’ COVID-19 vaccination leads to NBA controversy


Matthew Carter

Basketball has gathered huge amounts of attention-and thus, James’s words and actions have a wide audience.

Kevin Zhu, Senior Staff Writer

NBA superstar LeBron James has recently received his COVID-19 vaccination amid skepticism from anti-vaxxers. 

“Overall, vaccine mandates are a choice, but players should be aware of the huge consequences that come along with it. It’s like a passport-you need it for your job, and if you don’t have it, you need to face the consequences that come along with it,” said Wilson Xie (‘23).

NBA regulations currently do not require any vaccination records for players to participate in the league, despite protests from fans due to safety reasons. Medical concerns regarding unmasked players have arisen due to NBA games being held indoors.

Playing indoors without masks could be dangerous. But it’s impossible to play basketball with masks on, so the rules for vaccines are different across the country,” said Yash Singh (‘25).

LeBron James, known as the face of basketball in the 21st century, has changed the modern NBA in game-defining ways. He has paved a path of action for not only basketball players, but athletes all over the world. Lebron has organized protests, offered political opinions on presidents, and created foundations to serve his community. His social media, with nearly 100 million followers on Instagram, is a powerful tool to spread his ideas.

With 100 million followers, LeBron James’ social media influence is far-reaching and wide.

“He has a positive impact overall, he started a school in Oakland and the I Promise scholarship program, which were huge successes,” said Xie.

Many fans were angered to hear that the face of basketball, LeBron James, got the Covid vaccine after publicly being skeptical about it, creating division on social media.

“Today, when you say basketball, the first person that you think of is probably LeBron James… Taking a weak standpoint on vaccines isn’t something I support. He should be promoting this,” said Xie.

A celebrity’s actions have a huge impact on their fans and followers’ beliefs. With mixed responses, many fans were relieved that Lebron James, a major influencer, took a step towards science and public safety. 

“Followers… using James as a basis for their decisions isn’t the best choice. Listening to doctors would be better,” said Xie.