As vaccinations continue to be a hot topic for the NBA right now, one of the league’s biggest players revealed he is indeed vaccinated.
Back in May, LeBron James refused to reveal his vaccination status during an interview.
He confirmed Tuesday he received the Covid-19 vaccine months after his initial skepticism about the shot, CNN reports.
“Everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature,” James said during the Los Angeles Lakers media day. “I know that I was very [skeptical] about it all. But after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it.”
He added that while he is vaccinated, he feels it isn’t his place to impose that choice on other players. “We are talking about people’s bodies and well beings. I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and livelihoods…You have to do what’s best for you and your family,” he said.
LeBron’s revelation comes as athletes in the NBA and other leagues hesitate to get the vaccine. According to ESPN, about 90% of NBA players are vaccinated, but recent media focus has been placed on the players who have opted out of getting the vaccine.
The NBA does not require players to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to play ball. However, according to CNN, referees and other staff who work closely with players are required to be fully vaccinated.
Earlier this month, the NBA warned that vaccine mandates set by New York City and San Francisco could block players of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Golden State Warriors from competing in home games this season if they are not vaccinated or exempt.
Players from visiting teams who compete at the city’s arenas are not included in the local governments’ vaccination mandates. While the Knicks reportedly have a fully vaccinated team, the Nets and the Warriors have yet to reach that status.
Friday, the NBA announced that Golden State Warriors player Andrew Wiggins’ request to be exempt from the vaccine for religious reasons was denied, making him ineligible to play home games until he reaches San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.
Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told CNN’s Don Lemon Monday that unvaccinated players aren’t “behaving like good teammates or good citizens” and that they should be disciplined.
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