In this age of the conscious athlete, we cant forget the pioneers and trendsetters throughout history who risked their own glory to speak on issues and injustices pertaining to African-Americans. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has long been a transcending figure in sports and this week we celebrate the impenetrable force’s 71st year of living.
Lewis Alcindor, as Kareem was known before converting to Islam in 1971, was probably the highest touted hoops star in history coming out of Power Memorial and he helped sustain John Woodens UCLA college dynasty before coming to the pros and rewriting the record books as the most unstoppable offensive player in the history of the game.
Happy birthday, Kareem Abdul-Jabar! The @NBA great celebrated his 71st birthday in 2018, over 34 years after @kaj33 set the NBA record for most career points. Will anyone top 38,387 points? Vote now https://t.co/p0rAklprqu https://t.co/IOCyclRU57
In addition to his social activism and continued vocal offerings on societys hot topics, Kareem was a six-time NBA champion, six-time MVP, made 19 All-Star games, is the NBAs all-time leading scorer. Hes the Hall of Famers Hall of Famer and his celebrity never skewed his honest interpretation of the Black experience in America. Kareem is a man of great dignity and integrity. The 7-footer is revered by current sports icons for the sterling legacy he has chiseled out for himself in America’s history.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared a moment with Lebron lastnight after their win vs The Raptors. Lebron James went on to talk, in the post game press conference, about the huge amount of respect that he has for Kareem. About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada.
In the same way that the sports world came to Colin Kaepernicks defense when the NFL attempted to quiet his anthem protests, on June 4, 1967, Abdul-Jabbar joined Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Willie Davis to support boxing titan Muhammad Alis refusal to enter the Army.
Abdul-Jabbar participated in a protest at UCLA after Dr. Kings assassination. Kareem also boycotted the 1968 Olympics because former IOC president Avery Brundage allowed German dictator Adolf Hitler not to field any Jewish athletes in the 1936 Games. After Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he has since addressed misconceptions both about the Muslim faith and culture.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins ESPN’s First Take to talk about the current state of sports and politics, LeBron James as the greatest basketball player of all time, and more.
Kareems passion for political and social activism began as a student at UCLA, continued with the Lakers and continues today in his exploits as a published author. Jabar says he was naturally inspired by athletes such as Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali and civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X for their courage in addressing racial and social inequalities. Abdul-Jabbar then became inspired to do the same.
It wasnt enough to talk about what was right, Abdul-Jabbar once said. They took action, putting their own safety in peril in order to do the right thing. Their example of enduring so much public hatred yet still forging head to further the cause of equality made me realize I would be ashamed if I didnt do my part.
If Kareem Abdul Jabar was a spider, he’d be a daddy long-legs. https://t.co/GX6VGpRVaQ
Abdul-Jabbar has done his part and continues to stay relevant and impact America off the basketball court decades after he took his last skyhook.