One of the newest endorsement deals LeBron James has is with Lobos 1707, a Tequila brand. Unfortunately, a brief outdoor photoshoot for the company which, included guests such as Drake and Michael Jordan (the actor), was not allowed per NBA rules, even though the company required vaccinations and negative COVID-19 tests to attend. According to an NBA spokesperson who talked to ESPN,
“It’s a violation of the agreed upon protocols, and, as we have in other comparable instances around the league, it has been addressed with the team.”
Since James violated the league’s health and safety protocol rules, there could be a wide range of punishments, stemming from a formal warning at the lowest, to fines, and then suspensions. It’s that last part that could and should worry Lakers fans, as if James is forced to miss their first round series against the Phoenix Suns (as he could be out for up to 14 days), the Lakers don’t have a good chance at beating them. Combine this with his ankle and eye injuries, and things are not looking good for the Lakers, but great for the Suns. Chris Paul has been itching to win a championship, and now that Devin Booker has finally made the playoffs, he is ready to go off.
On the other hand, James is the league’s biggest star, and they have never handed him big punishments, even when he is deserving, to avoid tarnishing the league’s reputation. Chances are he will end up with a fine or formal warning for what he did, even though he broke the league rules during a global pandemic to promote alcohol. Are we sure we want him being a role model to millions? Can you imagine Steph Curry (in James’ words, this year’s MVP) ever doing such a thing?
James has not received the vaccine by his choice, according to teammate Dennis Schroder. Schroder also missed a week during the season because of these protocols, so if James doesn’t miss any time, it has nothing to do with what he did, but who he is. The question is, will the NBA do the right thing and suspend James? Or, will they let their biggest source of money get away with whatever he wants? Let’s hope they do the right thing.
Oh wait, the NBA just decided not to suspend James from any play (before I could finish writing this). In their words, James did not do anything wrong, as the photoshoot was quick and negative tests or vaccines were required. Given the context, it does make some sense that they would choose not to suspend him, so we may have to cut him a bit of slack here. However, he still violated NBA rules and protocol.
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One thought on “LeBron James Violates Health and Safety Protocols”
Good Blog and I couldn’t agree more. LeBron James is setting a bad example for not only the NBA but all of their players. The Lakers will never take any action against LeBron and the leagues failure to do so only further confirms their reputation as an owner centric, weak and ineffective league. James is not above the law, he broke the leagues health and safety protocol rules and therefore should have been suspended by the league. I would be remiss if I didn’t asking the following questions: how can the league and team officials know for certain that everyone in attendance was vaccinated or had a negative test result? (Covid-19 tests can show false negative or false positive results). Who was there to check and confirm these test results and vaccinations? Depending on the vaccine manufacture their vaccine’s are only 90%-95% effective. During clinical trials, the J&J, efficacy rate was 66.3%. My point being LeBron potentially put his team and opponents at risk of infection and the league did nothing. Difficult to believe this actually happened.