Five-time Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch allegedly wanted to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the NFL Playoffs, recently joined the ownership group for USL Championship side Oakland Roots, and has strived to give back to his native Oakland in multiple ways during and following his playing days.
He's now working to educate others about available COVID-19 vaccine shots.
As the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) explained, Lynch has released a 30-minute conversation with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci onto his YouTube page that both men hope will inform the public, specifically those among the Black and Hispanic communities, about the vaccination process.
At the time the discussion was recorded late last month, Lynch told Dr. Fauci he had not yet been vaccinated. "When it comes to the government giving back to communities that look like me, we don't seem to be on the well-received end of those situations," Lynch said. "It gets to the point where it's almost like a gamble."
The NBA has utilized legendary figures such as Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in public service announcements encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Fauci told Lynch it's understandable minority communities would have their doubts about the safety of the shots.
"The reluctance you express is a reluctance that's founded in historical reality," Fauci said. "So how do we get past that? And the reason why we've got to get past that is because we don't want African Americans in the community to not have the advantage of the protection of something that really works because of history."
The NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Soccer, and WWE have all taken part in advertisements promoting vaccine shots this spring as responsible organizations and team owners hope to safely fill venues and stadiums to capacities as quickly as possible. On Wednesday, the NFL announced that over two million vaccine shots had been administered at league sites over the past several months.
The Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres currently intend to allow only fans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend games starting later this year.