Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Sterling's Racism No Big Surprise

Sunday, 04 May 2014 01:18 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Nobody should have been surprised by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's secretly recorded comments concerning blacks, says basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, following up on a scathing editorial he wrote last week about reactions to racism in the United States.

"It should not have been a surprise to anybody who was paying attention to Mr. Sterling over any period of time," Abdul-Jabbar told ABC "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos Sunday.

But back in 2000, when he worked as an assistant with the Clippers, Abdul-Jabbar says Sterling did not act like a racist at all.

"For the most part, he was gracious," the former NBA star said. "He invited me to his daughter's wedding. I didn't feel that there was any racial animus in the man. Just when I saw what was just portrayed there, how he discriminated against blacks and other minorities, it started to bother me."

Story continues below.




In his Time piece, which Stephanopoulos referred to on Sunday, Abdul-Jabbar pointed out that Sterling had been sued by the federal government for discrimination, including in 2006, when he said he did not want to rent to black tenants, complaining they "smell and attract vermin."

In addition, in 2009, Sterling paid $2.73 million in a Justice Department lawsuit, also on claims that he had discriminated against blacks, Hispanics and people with children in his rentals, and another $5 million in attorney fees because of his counsel's conduct.

The National Basketball Association last week banned Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million. Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will not be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league's governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

On Sunday, Abdul-Jabbar said he supports the ban, and believes Sterling will take whatever legal recourse he has to avoid sanctions and an order to sell the team.

But Abdul-Jabbar does think the NBA has the "legal leverage" to force Sterling out of the league.

"You don't know for sure, but, the way things are going now, I think that they have a good chance of keeping him away from the game," said Abdul-Jabbar.

But the country is still struggling with lingering racism, he noted.

"More whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism," he told Stephanopoulos. "That's why we have shows like 'Ghostbusters' and not shows like 'Racistbusters." It's something that is still part of our culture. And people hold on to some of these ideas and practices just out of habit and saying that, well that's the way it always was. Things have to change."

The NBA can help play a role in changing people's minds, said Abdul-Jappar.

"It's not something you can constantly be harping on," he said. "[But] when it's appropriate, they see people doing things that don't line up with how we're supposed to be feeling about things, then people have to speak up... it's like watching the temperature. Somebody gets a temperature, something might be wrong. You have to deal with it quickly."

Related Stories:





© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Utah Lawmaker Questions City Water Going to NSA

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 18:02 PM

A Utah lawmaker concerned about government spying on its citizens is questioning whether city water service should be cu . . .

Ben Carson Tries to Clarify Stance on Second Amendment Rights

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 15:42 PM

Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson used a conference call with supporters Wednesday to tack . . .

'I Killed JFK' Producer: We Have Confession of Alleged JFK Killer

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 14:49 PM

As the 51st anniversary of the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy is approaching, the producer of a new d . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved