Udonis Haslem on coronavirus pandemic: ‘This s*** is life and death’

Udonis Haslem addresses his future at news conference.
Udonis Haslem addresses his future at news conference.

MIAMI – The Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem is encouraging people to take the worldwide coronavirus pandemic seriously, and he slammed those who are not.

“You see that video going around of these silly ass college kids down in South Florida on spring break? Talking about, ‘If I get corona, I get corona, bro,’ and all that nonsense? Man, I’ll tell you one thing for sure. Those kids have never been hungry a day in their life,” Haslem wrote in a blog for The Players’ Tribune.

Haslem wrote that he was upset about spring breakers coming to South Florida amid the pandemic to party, putting the public at risk.

“It’s funny -- these kids fly down to places like South Beach for a couple days to party, and they think that’s Miami. But they’ve never seen the real Miami. They’ve never been to Liberty City. They’ve never seen the side of this city that’s living check to check. The side of this city that’s surviving meal to meal,” he wrote.

Haslem reminded out-of-town spring breakers that “this ain’t your f***ing beach, bruh.”

“This is not your spring break,” he wrote. “This s*** is real life -- and come to think of it, it’s more than even that. This s*** is life and death.”

Haslem continued by writing about his childhood and how he related to the children who have continued to pick up their free breakfast and lunches from schools throughout South Florida amid school closures.

“I was that kid getting those free school lunches you read about on your Twitter timeline,” Haslem wrote. “Matter of fact, most of us in my elementary school had lunch cards. We went to school to eat, you know what I’m saying?? Those fish sticks were everything. That little carton of chocolate milk was everything. If you skipped school to f*** around in the streets, you might go hungry that day.”

Haslem wrote that he worries if schools have to remain closed for even longer than originally thought that millions of children will be forced to go home to empty refrigerators.

“And also ask yourself this question: Have you ever been hungry before?” Haslem wrote. “I mean really hungry? Not just, like, ‘Damn, bro, I gotta get on Grubhub right now’ hungry. No, I’m talking hungry. Because here’s something that only those who’ve really struggled will ever know: Everything changes when you’re hungry. Everything, man. Your whole entire perspective changes.”

Click here to read Haslem’s full blog.

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