Updated: Sep 23, 2022
Wed, September 21st, 2022
If you don’t know who Kareem Abdul Jabbar is, then you don’t know basketball. When it comes to basketball, not just the NBA, he is the greatest basketball player of all time. There is no debate that he is the greatest high school and college basketball player of all time and only loses in the NBA GOAT debate to cooler and more branded athletes like Michael, Magic, and Lebron. Since winning one championship with the Bucks and five with the Lakers, Kareem, in his latest stage of life, has picked up the career or hobby of writing opinionated pieces on Substack, which is a places for writers who can earn money on a subscription base to read their writings.
Kareem on Substack seems or comes off as innocent, a great second or third act for anybody who has been in the public eye such as himself. Instead, his writings or opinions about current NBA players seem a bit harsh. My generation of NBA fans view Kareem as a lovable clean cut faith-driven elder, while the Winning Time on HBO portrays him as not the nicest teammate. We do remember old NBA classic clips of Kareem Abdul Jabbar fighting in a much tougher 70s and 80s league.
There are two articles in particularly where Kareem comes across as the “Get off my lawn” Grandpa in the neighborhood or the head of the family who refuses to listen to any other perspective besides their own. They use their age as a barometer for being right. In April 2022, Kareem criticized Lebron James, the biggest star in the NBA currently, for not being an advocate of the jab. Jab, which means a vaccine for COVID-19 in which most players in the NBA were made to get due to unrealistic protocols they would have to endure if they refused. Some players were also made to get it because of the city they lived in, I.e. Kyrie Irving, who could not play for the Brooklyn Nets due to New York City’s ban on indoor activities for the unvaccinated. Kareem never tried to understand if Lebron was in favor of taking vaccines, or even if Lebron believes the vaccines are safe and effective. Kareem would rather demonize Lebron James for not having the same stance on vaccines and the pandemic, while Kareem thinks he should be the face, which leaves no room for personal and private decisions on the matter for Lebron. Quite frankly, an unfair take for a guy who faced similar scrutiny once changing his religion and changing his name from Lee Alcindor to Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
The second article is the most recent about Anthony Edwards. Anthony Edwards, a rising star for the Minnesota Timberwolves in one of the most liberal cities in America, which is Minneapolis, used homophobic slurs on his social media. He quickly apologized for it in a heartfelt public letter. The 21-year-old was fined 40,000 dollars from the league for using the term “queer”. In Kareem’s article, he applauded the young star for his apology, but also stated that it wasn’t enough.
“Edwards needs to repair the damage with some voluntary community service with LGBTQ+ organizations, particularly youth groups, to show his support,” Kareem said. Or his apology would be considered “meaningless.” As respected and revered as we hold Kareem, nobody can judge whether your apology is sincere. We do not base our worth out of our works. Kareem is not the gatekeeper or end all be all on forgiveness. Once again, Kareem should reach out to gain more of a perspective. Even though we can all agree the language shouldn’t be tolerated, especially by a professional athlete. The fine was well In reason. But we often forget that there are still Americans and people around this globe who do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle due to their religious beliefs. Maybe Kareem should look deeper before asking him to show support to prove his sincerity. There is a line between offending and showing support. A person can have a different ideological viewpoint on a subject without offending the people that do, and without showing support for the actions of it. Usually we all support things that align with our viewpoint. And if it doesn’t our lack of support doesn’t automatically fall in the category of offensive. Kareem needs to do more reaching out instead of writing out.