Who knew that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is so much more than a great athlete? He’s also a deep-thinking philosopher, a great writer, and an all around gutsy guy when it comes to speaking his mind fearlessly–the latter becoming increasingly rare in the age of political correctness, not to mention Obama’s NSA.
Abdul-Jabbar weighed in on the circus surrounding L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Let’s turn the floor over to Kareem.
In an article for TIME, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote: [emphasis added]
Moral outrage is exhausting. And dangerous. The whole country has gotten a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome from the newest popular sport of Extreme Finger Wagging. Not to mention the neck strain from Olympic tryouts for Morally Superior Head Shaking. …
Yes, I’m angry, too, but not just about the sins of Donald Sterling. I’ve got a list. But let’s start with Sterling. I used to work for him, back in 2000 when I coached for the Clippers for three months. He was congenial, even inviting me to his daughter’s wedding. Nothing happened or was said to indicate he suffered from IPMS (Irritable Plantation Master Syndrome). [Abdul-Jabbar goes on to document several previous accusations of alleged racism made against Sterling.] …
And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing “pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.” She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.
They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping. …
Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? … The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accompliceto the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it. …
So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars. …
The entire article is excellent and well argued. What reasonable person could take issue with anything Abdul-Jabbar wrote? He is, dare I say it? Presidential in his common sense and equanimity. Post-racial.
Thank you, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for saying what many others would not be allowed to say, or would be very afraid to say, lest they, too, be accused of racism.
Unlike Abdul-Jabbar, our current president was amongst those who immediately began “whooping” around Sterling. For Obama, it wasn’t a “slow news day,” it was a “distract the media day.” From what?
Well, perhaps from the new revelations about the Benghazi scandal-that’s-not-going-away. After all, the WH knows very well when FOIA requests are fulfilled, and so they know what’s coming down the pike in the way of news that might negatively affect “White House equities.”
Abdul-Jabbar is probably and unfortunately 100% correct when he predicts a Kim-Kardashian-like future for Sterling’s ex-girlfriend cum “archivist” and future president. (NOT making that up!)
I have a list, too, and a lot of questions about an apparent double standard:
Where was the moral outrage when Sterling dissed his wife by openly flaunting his “archivist” in public? Was that okay with the NBA? Isn’t that a rather public display of immoral not-so-private conduct that’s offensive, or don’t they care because “boys will be boys?”
Will athletes in the NBA, as well as in other sports, be held to the same standard? Zero tolerance?
At the first whiff of immorality or intolerance for “diversity”, will they be banned for life and made to pay millions in fines? Will the same swift “justice” be meted out to them?
Will athletes (not just owners) and even sports reporters be similarly and swiftly disciplined whenever they (if only allegedly) insult, assault, or rape women, or when they spew misogynistic or racist comments, or when they, like Obama, make fun of the disabled?
It seems to an objective observer that “some animals are more equal than others,” in the Animal Farm that is national sports.
This is America? As Abdul-Jabbar suggests, it seems quite un-American. Where and when will it end? Today Donald Sterling. Tomorrow? Who will be immune from this “gotcha” Crusade?