One-time NBA star and social justice activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is afraid that America has not gotten woke enough even as he is proud of the NBA for taking a knee to the far left.
Abdul-Jabbar, 74, told CNN that he is proud of how the NBA has moved to satisfy woke ideals. In his interview, he praised LeBron James and WNBA player Maya Moore for their charitable efforts. But the nation as a whole, he says, still faces the “same issues” as we did before the days of the Civil Rights movement.
The activist sportsman has become the namesake of a new NBA award for social activism. The league has just established the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.
Each year, the NBA will recognize a current NBA player for “pursuing social justice and upholding the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect, and inclusion.”
CNN went on to note how Abdul-Jabbar feels that the U.S. is still the same as it was in the 1950s when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began working to bring civil rights to blacks.
“We’re dealing with voter suppression, and we’re dealing with violence, we’re dealing with lack of educational opportunities, lack of adequate health care, so none of the issues have changed. It’s just the clock has kept ticking,” the former player exclaimed.
Abdul-Jabbar also complained that America loves black people, as long as they don’t get too political.
“America is very quick to embrace a Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, or a justice Barack Obama, so long as it’s understood that you don’t get too controversial around broader issues of social,” he insisted.
Abdul-Jabbar also pointed to Colin Kaepernick as an example of why America has failed to get woke enough.
“Kaepernick got booted out of the league, but the league ended up having to make a settlement with him, and they had to admit that they were wrong to deny him his peaceful protests,” said Abdul Jabbar.
The former L.A. Lakers star went on to say that America “resent” Kaepernick for trying to speak out for social justice.
“He was doing a peaceful protest about police violence,” Abdul-Jabbar exclaimed. “There wasn’t anything un-American about it. People just chose to interpret it that way because they resented the fact that he was taking advantage of his opportunity to use his platform. So, we have to speak the truth here and understand what happened.”
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