Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says unvaccinated NBA players should be benched

Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is speaking out and says unvaccinated NBA players should not be eligible to play in the 2021-22 season.

"The NBA should insist all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team," he said in an interview with Rolling Stone over the weekend. "There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research."

Currently, players are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but are subject to frequent testing. However, all personnel interacting with players and referees are required to be fully vaccinated.

RELATED: NBA vaccine mandate: All personnel interacting with players, referees required to be vaccinated

Some of the biggest names in the league made controversial comments when it comes to the vaccine during NBA Media Day Monday including Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, and Devin Booker.

The legendary Laker would be pleased to know the Lakers’ front office recently revealed that its roster is fully vaccinated going into the upcoming season. 

RELATED: Lakers front office reveals players' vaccination statuses for NBA Opening Night

Some of Abdul-Jabbar’s accolades include winning six NBA championships in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, as well as winning two NBA Finals MVP awards. He is often considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

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He has served as a special assistant for the Lakers and is known for speaking up on issues related to social justice. In 2012, he became the first sports figure to be named as a cultural ambassador for the United States during the Obama administration. 

The NBA preseason is scheduled to begin next week. 

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