- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The Los Angeles Laker told reporters on Tuesday, the team’s media day, that he made the decision to get the jab after he did his own research. However, James also noted that he did not feel it was his place to tell others what to do concerning the shot.
ESPN’s Smith on Wednesday said on First Take that he was disappointed and irritated with the situation.
“I don’t think he needs to be more vocal now, but what he did [Tuesday], he should have done a long time ago,” Smith said. “He is an individual that has been an incredible role model on so many levels and needs to be applauded for all of that. He took the liberty to take the bull by the horn and be front and center on a plethora of issues that affect our community.”
Smith made that point when he admitted that he was not fully confident in the vaccine at first, but after visiting an ICU with friend and Virtua Health CEO Dennis Pullin, Smith was shocked into changing his mind.
“I saw nothing in there but Black people because so many Black people were hesitant to take the vaccine,” Smith said. “When you saw the detrimental impact that it was having on our community, that’s when I felt compelled to step up and take the vaccine. Plain and simple. ESPN didn’t ask me to take it. Nobody asked me to take it except Dennis Pullin.”
Smith argued James using his massive global platform sooner to, at the very least, admit he was vaccinated could have made a significant difference for some doubters.
“Vaccines been out for damn near a year now, and we just heard from LeBron James [on Tuesday],” Smith said. “People were dying in our community. I feel like anybody who had a voice should have done their research sooner than later and made sure they made a decision and moved forward and at least be open about what you chose to do.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day