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Kyle Kuzma Says There is Mistrust with Vaccines in the Black Community
By Khari Jones, Jr., Contributing Writer
Published March 11, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) brings the ball up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Kyle Kuzma is a player who hasn’t shied away from speaking his mind. Even last season in the bubble, he told reporters to ask more questions related to racial injustice and police brutality.

In a recent press conference, Kuzma stated he hopes to see change regarding fans coming back to the arena and the pandemic slowing down. “With the vaccines coming out, having a good success rate, other states are opening up. Hopefully California does it, hopefully, Governor Newsom gets it together.”

A lot of teams in the NBA have minimum fans, and the Lakers would like the same privilege. After winning the 2020 NBA championship, Laker nation still hasn’t celebrated with them yet.

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Kuzma shared his thoughts. “I’m sure we would want fans too, especially with us, Laker nation hasn’t gotten the chance to really share and be with us all year after winning the championship.”

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) has ice placed inside a wrap on his back during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

He continued, “I know they are missing us. We are missing them too. Hopefully, Governor Newsom does something active with the vaccines.”

According to Kuzma, they have spoken with team doctors about the vaccines, but they don’t know much about them. They haven’t talked about it as a team. He discussed the mistrust with doctors in the Black community.

“Obviously, in the African American community, there has been a lot of skepticism. There is a lot going on in the history of medicine in the African American community.”

He went on to say, “When you don’t know, you don’t know.” In the past few weeks there has been positive feedback and reports about the vaccines, Kuzma states. “With the science behind that there, you have to take a look at that.”

The Flint native said when the opportunity presents itself, he’s not scared to say how he feels. “When the opportunity is needed for me to speak up for the people in this country that don’t have the platform, I do are unheard when it comes.”

Recently, Kuzma shared a CNN article about the Farmer’s Market protest that’s happening in India. Kuzma is in his fourth year and he’s already using his platform to shed light on real-world issues outside of the game.

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During All-Star weekend, LeBron James was asked if he was going to take the vaccine. James said he will discuss it with his family and keep it between them.

NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said on Saturday the NBA would not require players to get a COVID-19 vaccine. He stated that players have to make personal decisions at the end of the day. Silver takes the health concerns very seriously.

Silver believes the league health protocols have proven to be successful, so mandatory vaccinations will not be required for players. According to Silver, none of the players have vaccinated, and they only had to reschedule a select few games.

“The CDC has already announced that if you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t need to quarantine as a close contact. As you know, many of our players have had to sit out, not because they test positive, but because they were required to quarantine because of close contact.”

Silver continued, “The NCAA tournament is going to be this year without vaccinations for their players. To me, we’ll make additional progress if players get vaccinated, but it certainly doesn’t require that they all get vaccinated.”

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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