Dwight Howard drew praise for staying away from the limelight and relishing the dirty work in his new role off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Howard has been the subject of controversy in the last few days due to his reported violation of the NBA's health and safety protocol and his comments about wearing a mask and not believing in vaccines, all while touting his own personal opinion over the science.
Howard isn't happy about all this criticism, recently denouncing the “lies” that have stemmed from it. The Lakers center took to Instagram Live on Tuesday, once again, to clear the air:
“I do not want people out here lying and people on here trying to say stuff about me because of my (Instagram) Lives and stuff that’s going on,” said Howard, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. “Because I’ve seen some things online about this whole mask situation.”
He later read aloud the NBA's guidelines for health and safety, noting he has been compliant of them since his violation last week:
“I have followed all these rules and I am in my room right now,” said Howard. “So when these people are saying that I’m doing stuff and I’m saying stuff on Live, we’re not gonna let it slide. … I wear my mask when I’m supposed to. I do exactly what I’m supposed to when I have to.”
The Lakers center took shots at credible sources like USA TODAY, MSN and Yahoo, saying he had never talked to reporters from those outlets. But his social media posts and a recent video conference with reporters over the week Saturday gave reporters all the ammo they needed to bury him for some outlandish beliefs.
Despite being in his 16th season, the big man has yet to realize that in the social media era, anything and everything is quote material. Howard has made his share of mistakes speaking about not believing in vaccines and poking fun at the coronavirus freely, as regardless of the setting, those were his words that were printed and published in different media.