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Basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says police need to ‘perceive the downside’ facing black people


Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated it is “essential” to hold speaking about racism and police brutality towards black people in America following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota.

“This isn’t a new issue; this has been happening,” Abdul-Jabbar stated. “We all need to be respected by the people who enforce the law. And that hasn’t happened.”

Abdul-Jabbar joined CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Tuesday to talk about the latest protests all through the nation following Floyd’s loss of life, the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and the Feb. 23 capturing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. 

Video footage confirmed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin together with his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes as he stated he could not breathe. Chauvin has been charged with homicide and manslaughtered. He was fired together with three different officers who stood by and watched.

The incident has sparked nationwide protests and demonstrations.

Abdul-Jabbar referred to as for legislation enforcement and corporations to “understand the problem” facing blacks in America. 

“Certain people among the ranks of police are racist or are afraid of people who don’t look like them,” Abdul-Jabbar stated. “I think all of us would serve this issue if we can make friends with someone who doesn’t look like us. I think that is a key issue here, that too much of people’s humanity and their right to be a part of the American dream, that’s not recognized all the time, and that’s very unfortunate.”

The former Los Angeles Lakers icon wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, the place he supported protesting all through the nation. Abdul-Jabbar pointed to “institutional racism” as a part of the motive for the protest.

“The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.”

The picture of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck additionally drew comparisons to former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt to protest police brutality towards blacks in America. Abdul-Jabbar stated Kaepernick was “blackballed” and unable “to earn a living because he was saying something that people didn’t want to hear.”

Abdul-Jabbar stated the NFL wants to “prove to all of us that they mean what they say” following feedback made by league commissioner Roger Goodell to “address” the “systemic issues”  facing minorities.

“We have to listen to people who are suffering,” Abdul-Jabbar stated

Asked how house owners in sports activities, particularly these in the National Basketball Association, can fight racism and social inequality, Abdul-Jabbar prompt offering extra training and “financial opportunities” to underprivileged communities.

“Black Americans are often the last hired and the first fired; we can change that,” Abdul-Jabbar stated. “There’s a lot of positive ways we can relate to our fellow citizens and work on this problem and eliminate it.”



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