‘You Can’t Be For God And Oppression’ |Kaepernick Is Publishing Autobiography On Life Of NBA Player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

(Photo: Getty Images/Kaepernick Publishing)

This week, Kaepernick Publishing announced that it will be publishing former NBA star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s autobiography on Oct. 18, 2022.

Written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nick Chiles, “In the Blink of an Eye: An Autobiography” will be a polarizing work that captures the essence of Abdul-Rauf’s remarkable journey.

From his time in the NBA, to playing overseas, to his revival with Ice Cube’s Big 3 league. This will provide a detailed, inside look into the life of Abdul-Rauf, the first player to refuse to stand for the anthem.

Via Kaepernick publishing:

“With wit and candor, Abdul-Rauf tells the story of how he rose to the top of his game—only to have his career taken away in the blink of an eye when he stood up for his principles. He also recounts his experiences living with Tourette syndrome, committing his life to the Islamic faith, and growing up estranged from his father.”

The Artist Formerly Known As Chris Jackson 

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf starred at LSU. Many in Baton Rouge compared him to the legendary “Pistol” Pete Maravich, because of his scoring prowess. He scored 48 points in his third collegiate game, and 53 in his fifth.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, aka The Artist Formerly Known as Chris Jackson

He set the NCAA freshman scoring record (966 points), averaging 30.2 ppg.

In his college career he scored at least 40 points (11 times) and 50 points (4 times).

He was drafted third overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1990 NBA Draft.

Name Change, Refusal To Stand, After 3 More Seasons He Was Out Of The League

Rauf’s struggle for self-dignity in the NBA has gotten much more positive attention now than it did back then. But it was not his religion that created the firestorm, it was his perceived disrespect of the nation’s flag. That is what created the uproar amongst the reactionaries. 

Via TSL, 2020: 

“And in the ‘90s, the NBA had their very own Colin Kaepernick-like “situation.” Earlier this year, Stern made news when he said that he thought “Kaepernick would still have a job if he played in the NBA instead of the NFL.” The quote was beyond hypocritical as Stern was in charge when Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was blackballed by teams in the league after he refused to stand for the national anthem.”

Following his rookie season, Abdul-Rauf became a Muslim in 1991, but he didn’t begin refusing to stand for the anthem until 1995. Most of the 1996-96 season he chose to stay in the locker room during the anthem.

The Nuggets saw nothing wrong with it, until someone asked him about it.

That question created a firestorm of opinions and somehow Abdul-Rauf became a villain of white oppressive America, same as Colin Kaepernick. Once the situation hit the mainstream, it exploded out of control and became a political issue.

In an interview with The Undefeated, Mahmoud had this to say about the ordeal, which led to what he’s called subsequent blackballing from the NBA.

Same as Kaepernick in the NFL.

“You can’t be for God and oppression. It’s clear in the Quran. Islam is the only way. I don’t criticize those who don’t stand, so don’t criticize me for sitting.”

The league suspended Abdul-Rauf for one game and even reached a deal with him. The deal was for him to stand with his teammates, but Abdul-Rauf would raise his hands and pray as the other players observed the anthem in the traditional manner.

With this controversy came death threats. He was traded from Denver to the Sacramento Kings the summer after the situation erupted. A house he owned in Mississippi burned to the ground years later.

By age 29, Abdul-Rauf was out of the league and playing in Turkey. After two years he made a comeback with the Vancouver Grizzlies, playing in a reserve role for one final season, 2000-2001.

Colin Kaepernick Kneels For Anthem, Rehashes Mahmoud In1996: Both BLACKBALLED

CK7’s refusal to stand for the anthem in 2016, sparked more controversy. In an interview with New York Daily News, Abdul-Rauf discussed the aftermath of CK7 not standing, and how no team wanted to sign him.

“He’s being blackballed. I’m not surprised, ” Mahmoud said in an interview. “As soon as it happened, I expected it. The same thing happened to me.”

Mahmoud explained how he felt the NBA strategically and gradually forced him out of the game in a 2016 interview.

“They try to put you in vulnerable positions. They play with your minutes, trying to mess up your rhythm. Then they sit you more. Then what it looks like is, well, the guy just doesn’t have it anymore, so we trade him.”
“It’s kind of like a setup. You know, trying to set you up to fail and when they get rid of you, they can blame it on that as opposed to, it was really because he took these positions. They don’t want these types of examples to spread, so they’ve got to make an example of individuals like this.”

In The Blink Of An Eye: Autobiography October 2022

The autobiography of Abdul-Rauf will detail his upbringing, basketball exploits and how he feels a promising career was taken from him because of his beliefs.


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