Current Weather

On Air Now

Woody Wilson
Woody Wilson
10:00am - 2:00pm

Barack Obama teams with Charles Barkley and Shaq to urge communities of color to get COVID-19 vaccine


Former President Barack Obama is urging his fellow Americans to “Roll Up Your Sleeves” and get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Teaming with basketball legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal for NBC’s hour-long Roll Up Your Sleeves special, the former president hoped to persuade more Americans of color to get vaccinated and put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trio reached out to minority communities and younger Americans who may be hesitant to get the vaccine during their segment, insisting that getting the jab “will save lives and allow people to get their lives back to normal.”

Barkley happily told Obama that he was set to receive his second dose the following day, adding, “I cannot wait. I think it’s important to keep talking about the vaccine.”

Added the former 76er, “I’m telling all my friends, ‘Yo, man forget what happened back in the day.’  Every Black person, please, go out and get vaccinated.”

During the special, Shaq explained why he views the vaccine as necessary, saying his family has underlying conditions and added, “I’m worried about the average mom and dad.”

Obama expanded on pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, by saying, “There’s more of that in communities of color than there is generally, which means we’re more vulnerable.”

A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation asking American adults if they will get the COVID-19 vaccine found that 35 percent of Black adults would not get vaccinated.

The former president concluded, “And, look, if the wealthy and the powerful in our society are all lining up to get shots, that means everybody should know it’s a good thing.”

Sunday’s Roll Up Your Sleeves special, hosted by Russell Wilson and Ciara, also featured President Joe Biden, Doctor Anthony Fauci and celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.