APB Speaker & NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Reflects on George Floyd Protests in his LA Times Op-Ed
18 Jun 2020
NBA legend and APB speaker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently wrote a poignant op-ed for the LA Times defending the protests taking place across the country. In this moving piece, Kareem defends these protests saying he doesn’t want to see stores being looted. He goes on to remind people that the protests are what happens when the black community has been pushed to their tipping point. “The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness…the needle hardly budges,” he says. “African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible—even if you’re choking on it—until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere,” Kareem writes. Abdul-Jabbar also goes on to say that racism is deadlier than COVID-19.
Kareem has always been a political activist in his sports career. In 1968, he risked career backlash when he publicly boycotted joining the U.S. Olympic basketball team to protest the rampant racial injustice of the time. Almost fifty years later, he wrote with eloquence and conviction about Colin Kaepernik and #TakeAKnee. “I have never been prouder to be part of the athletic community,” Jabbar stated, emphasizing the important role that athletes as activists can play in political resistance to the “Trump administration’s assault on American values and constitutional civil liberties.” Kareem continues to inspire athletes and non-athletes alike to stand up against injustice.