Hopefully you are already catching on to who the real racist is.
I have so many great memories of watching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar play basketball. What he did to Boston in 1985 is possibly my favorite sports memory (and I have a lot of fond memories, considering I’ve been a Lakers & Steelers fan since the 70’s). He was such an amazing athlete to watch — so thoroughly gifted and disciplined and a great player in the clutch. I was the little white boy working on his “sky hook” in the driveway over and over.
Unfortunately, too many stars ignore the “shut up and sing/dance/act/play” advice and tell us what they really think. And in Kareem’s case, it is that he hates me because I’m white.
To Kareem’s credit, he did see some awful racism in his youth. But he never got past projecting the actions of a few onto everyone who is white. Using his logic, we should look at how black-on-white crimes absolutely dwarf the reverse and conclude that all blacks are criminals. Fortunately, most of us can see past that and just judge individuals for their actions.
It is sad how unbelievably tone-deaf he is to his hypocrisy. He was with his agent and a New York Times reporter doing a phony fluff-piece showing how fun and whimsical he is, and in the midst of this he is unspeakably rude to a father and his child (the dad was telling the kid how great Kareem was). So while strenuously pretending to be a fun-loving guy who cares about his fans he shows his utter contempt for them. You know, the ones who cheered for him and made him rich. If that isn’t hypocrisy then nothing is.
And note how racist he is when accusing others of racism:
‘‘I understood why people liked him [Magic Johnson],’’ Abdul-Jabbar told me. ‘‘He had that great smile, so white people thought his life was O.K. They thought that racism had not affected him. They were wrong, of course. But that’s what they saw when they saw him. Magic made white people feel comfortable. With themselves.’’
Uh, no. Not at all. I wasn’t racist when Kareem became my favorite player, and I wasn’t racist for watching Magic Johnson enjoy his craft so much. But Kareem attributes it solely to the racism of all white people. He can’t see that he’s the real racist. How sad. This guy has been given such great gifts and opportunities yet he is still miserable.
The good news is that this has further cemented my belief that watching and following sports is — for me — generally a grand waste of time. I only watch them now if it is a group setting sort of thing such as the Super Bowl. If others find it to be a good stress relief or source of entertainment, then good for them. But I refuse to let my weekend be ruined because a bunch of 18-22 yr. old “student athletes” — who couldn’t care less about me — didn’t win a game. Same thing for the pros. I cut way back on sports in the 90’s when my kids were young and didn’t miss a thing. One of the downsides to the Internet is that today you can learn literally 100 times more about the worst team in the league more than you could have about the best team in the 70’s. There is nonstop coverage on sports sites, blogs, etc. I have recommitted to avoiding all of those and it is saving me a lot of time.
And the NBA is dead to me with their pathetically hypocritical actions in North Carolina. Let’s see, they grandstand and move the All-Star game from Charlotte because NC isn’t forcing organizations to go along with the “trans” bathroom portion of the perverted LGBTQX agenda — yet they have an entire league just for women! There is no way I’d spend hundreds of dollars to take a family to just one game of this or any other sports league.
The less you know about what your favorite players think and how they act, the better.
4 thoughts on “We’ve never met, but my all-time favorite athlete thinks I’m a racist. Because I’m white.”
I NEVER found sports of any sort interesting to watch after I left junior high school. BORING. So I’ve never wasted my time with them. Of course there are other things I find entertaining which I sometimes waste time with :oD
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I love watching sports. I will continue to do so. I will even attend games of Chicago teams as my financial situation allows. Athletic competition is proof of the potential of the human spirit that is plain and obvious to anyone. While not the only example, it is the example most accessible to the most people. Anytime anyone might say what is required of them is impossible, just point to athletes and it proves the person wrong to take that attitude.
However, with that said (and I could say so much more), I do not look to athletes as moral authorities. Nor do I give entertainers of any stripe that consideration. That’s not to say that there are none of them who cannot be good role models…there are those…but too often we are let down by them as they are not perfect human beings.
I used to find Robin Williams and George Carlin to be incredibly funny. Then I had the unfortunate experience of hearing them opine on the political or moral. Somehow they weren’t so funny anymore.
Entertainers, be they actors, comedians, singers/musician OR athletes, are only that…entertainers. They exist to entertain as far as their value to me. They do a good job of it most times. But I am torn between wanting to hear about who they are, what they are really like, and actually finding out. I too often wish I had never heard them interviewed. The illusion is so much better.
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I remember his graduation speech at UCLA when I was a student. I think his views are very misplaced, unfortunately.
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