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Whitlock: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has A Lot In Common With Laura Ingraham And LeBron James

Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” mantra is beginning to gain traction and credibility among Hall of Fame athletes. 

You remember two years ago when Ingraham forcefully questioned the political acumen of high school graduate-turned-NBA scholar LeBron James? She was shouted down as a racist. 

Well, now she’s not alone in dismissing and/or demeaning the social commentary of athletes and other celebrities. 

On his Fox Sports TV show, Shannon Sharpe, the all-time great NFL tight end, recently told NBA star Kyrie Irving to stick to playing basketball and leave the social commentary to more qualified people. 

And yesterday, in a column for The Hollywood Reporter, NBA legend and all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar argued that virtually all celebrities need to shut up or face cancellation. 

The final paragraph of Jabbar’s column summarized his unwitting alliance with Ingraham. 

“Many Americans imbue stars with political and social intelligence they just don’t have. Great success in one field can lead to the delusion that all your thoughts are great. It doesn’t help to be surrounded by fawning people whose job it is to agree with everything you say. The irresponsibility of tweeting irrational and harmful opinions to millions, regardless of the damaging consequences to their country or people’s lives, proves that those stars deserve harsh backlash.”

Now, to be fair, Jabbar’s column was intended to scold celebrities who do not stick to social media-approved liberal talking points. Jabbar blasted Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her unapproved opinions about transgender people. Jabbar criticized Rudy Giuliani for his support of President Trump. 

Jabbar asserted that Giuliani’s allegations of 2020 election fraud “does immediate harm to the foundation of society.”

Jabbar wrote: “Giuliani’s attacks on the integrity of the 2020 elections, without any substantive evidence, has undermined the democratic process. A post-election poll indicated 77 percent of Republicans think Joe Biden won because of fraud. Since no credible proof has ever been shown, this opinion can only be held because they practice flat-earther, anti-vaxxer cult-think.”

Jabbar called for social media companies to be more aggressive in silencing or placing warnings on false tweets and messages that incite violence or cause harm to society. 

I’d like to ask Kareem a question. 

What about Black Lives Matter? What about the false narrative that American law enforcement is on an unchecked killing spree of black men? Should we place warnings on those tweets and messages? Should the athletes and celebrities who promote the false narrative that the average black person should live in fear of law enforcement face harsh backlash?

There’s more anecdotal evidence of election fraud than there is anecdotal evidence of race-based police brutality. 

Countless studies and all the data refute the narrative that police are killing black people at some alarming rate. According to the Washington Post, police have killed 220 black people and 420 white people in 2020. That’s about right on average for the last decade. The overwhelming majority of people killed by police are criminal suspects who resist arrest. 

Athletes and celebrities pretend that law-abiding black people are at high risk of being killed by police. It’s a lie. 

The Black Lives Matter lie has actually incited violence and done harm to society. Let’s start at the beginning — Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri.

Social media helped spread the lie that Brown was killed with his hands up while surrendering to officer Darren Wilson. This lie led to weeks of rioting, looting and violence in Ferguson and across America. Eric Holder, President Obama’s black attorney general, investigated the Michael Brown shooting and concluded Darren Wilson did nothing wrong. 

Despite Holder’s investigation, the Michael Brown lie lives on. It’s still promoted via social media. It’s at the foundation of the false narrative that police are randomly killing black men. 

How many buildings have been burned to the ground based on the BLM false narrative? How many businesses have been destroyed? How many police officers shot? How many lives lost? How much damage has been done to our democratic process and race relations?

As it relates to allegations of election fraud, has there been any violence? Any riots?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants the opinions he disagrees with silenced and the ones he agrees with amplified. His opinion piece in The Hollywood Reporter paints him as a spoiled, delusional elitist with a false sense of social intelligence. 

He sounds just like LeBron James. 

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Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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59 Comments

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  1. Amen Jason! Thank you for pointing out that while Kareem sounds like he is saying the right thing, his actions elsewhere show he isn’t a truth teller like you are. I look forward to your columns everyday, and only wish you posted more 🙂

  2. Awesome! Truth in journalism! What a concept!

    It really is frustrating when folks are given basic facts that obliterate their argument/narrative/career work, but they just keep their heads down and push forward.

    Well respected men and women are being CENSORED based on facts. Those who have always felt comfortable relying on network news and refuse to admit that it’s basically been a brainwashing tool for 50+ years will continue to be fed communist values on an hourly basis.

    John Wooden would be extremely disappointed in Kareem. He’s forgotten our basic rights, and is calling for censorship. It’s unbelievable. All of these liberal intellectuals have never believed in a free society. First it was “listen” and “understand” and “join” our movement. Now it’s “cancel”, “blacklist”, “re-educate”.

    Where are we? This is absolutely absurd that all of these college educated social justice warriors want and promote communism. Live in China. I hear it’s nice in Venezuela this time of year.

  3. Jason, thank you for pointing out Kareem’s lack of integrity! Kareem’s comments are just another example of the liberals proving their own hypocrisy. It is once again a case of: “Only black athletes who spout white-liberal-elitists talking points are allowed to be heard.” Also, once again, Liberals are proving themselves to be the racists.

    Jason, also, to comment on your column from the other day, I was amazed what I saw on your Twitter Feed. There was a link to an article from years ago by Jemele Hill. She actually wrote an intelligent sounding article. She wrote something which contradicts everything she stands for today. She commented on the importance of black fathers and two parent families. It was only a few short years ago. Has her mindset really changed that much in a few short years? I don’t believe for a second that her mindset has changed. Inside, she is the same now as she was then. She is all about attention, clicks, likes, and approval from white liberals. The only thing that has changed is that a couple years ago, she was “allowed” to write such an article by overlord Jack Dorsey. Now, she is “forbidden” to write such things by her overload Jack Dorsey. She, like Kareem, is completely without integrity.

    Jemele is fond of saying “Heterosexual black men are the white-people of black-people”. I think it is more accurate to say Jemele is no different from a white liberal. When Jemele is together with white liberal elitists who want to tear down the country, a quote from George Orwell comes to mind (not from 1984, although 1984 is obviously relevant too, but rather, from Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”)
    Here is the quote I like, from the end of Orwell’s book, regarding animals looking in at the pigs who had aligned with humans.

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and then from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to tell which was which”

    Power corrupts Jason, and the liberals crave it. Whether they are white or black, there is no difference. In truth, as we here at OutKick know, the issues surrounding us are not really about race. Marxists are just using race to gain power.

  4. What the NBA players need to understand is something Clay has been preaching for quite a while. When people turn on sports … we want to escape politics and a lot of other things and just be entertained by watching sports. We want to forget about the more serious things in life. The last thing I need or want is to be lectured to by some athlete with little to no education. Most of these athletes have barely passed high school.

    I don’t care that they have an opinion on politics … good for them. Whether they have the same political views or differing political views from me … when I am watching sports I don’t want to hear about it. If they want to be political activists … good for them … just do it on your own time. These athletes need to learn that they job is to entertain. Do your job without trying to shove your political agenda down our throats. If you want to be an activist on your own time … i support your right to do so.

    • Exactly…many of us would be fired if we protested or posted our political views during business hours. We have to do it on our own time and even then, be careful. Its possible to be fired for your activisim/viewpoint if expressed at the wrong time or wrong place (at work). Sports are not entertaining when political messaging pervades every broadcast. Sports should be fun and an escape from serious concerns of life. Some of us with college education and mandatory continuing education for our professions are not impressed with the athletes and others when they are pushing their agendas to viewers.

  5. Hey Jason,
    His persona as the reclusive intellectual inspires people to hang on his every word, predisposed to assuming they’re hearing profound truths. But when his thoughts are transcribed to paper, we can see he is just how you characterize him. His naiveté and lack of self-awareness is stunning, considering all the years he’s spent developing his positions. And so it goes. Thank you!

    • Spot-on re: Kareem. Anyone in favor of censoring those with whom they disagree is little more than a child who cannot handle serious discourse. At his age, Abdul-Jabbar ought to be freaking embarrassed to be so fragile and shallow.

  6. @Mario….I mean the common derogatory term towards black men who espouse Christian, family, and order values is ‘Uncle Tom’…but how is wanting a functional civilization and a healthy family unit carrying the bucket for the white guy?

    If anything this other alliance many black people are tied to are being a true Uncle Toms. Calvin Candie is the white liberal academia & media controllers.

    • Calvin Candie absolutely is the white liberal academia and media controllers………….Robin Deangelo, for one example, has declared herself a racist, claiming all whites are racist, all while promoting policies that hurt minorities. But because she identifies herself as a liberal from academia, she is not only celebrated, she is allowed to continue to make millions off of her book in which she describes her own racism. This is madness. Jack dorsey and other social media platforms are making every one crazy.

  7. “A post-election poll indicated 77 percent of Republicans think Joe Biden won because of fraud. Since no credible proof has ever been shown, this opinion can only be held because they practice flat-earther, anti-vaxxer cult-think.”

    If he’s referring to the same poll that I think he is, he’s both misrepresenting the poll and forgetting to include a key point. First, 77% of Republicans believe that there was widespread voter fraud in favor of Joe Biden. That’s very different than ‘they think Joe Biden won because of fraud’. The key point that he in conveniently leaving out is that 30% of Democrats believe that there was widespread voter fraud that favored Joe Biden.

  8. Amen! Kareems one-sided examples discredit the point he is making. So many athletes and broadcasters have posted/said dumb things yet he goes with Rosanne Barr, Rudy Giuliani and JK Rowling’s with no mention of Lebron James, Mark Jones, Keith Olbermam, Jamelle Hill, Chelsea Handler, the list can go on and on. I can only hope that Kareem is using some kind of mental gymnastics, reverse psychology, to try and reach the athletes that are turning off fans in huge numbers.

  9. Jason, I’d love to hear your take on the subject of social media censorship. As I hear these titans of social media talk about their desire to censor anything that modern science doesn’t confirm, it makes me wonder what side of history these people would have been on back in the late 1400’s when flat-earth was accepted science. Or in the 1600’s when Galileo was being persecuted for his assertion that the earth revolved around the sun, which was against settled science. Or in more recent times, when in the mid 1900’s some challenged medical science on the benefits of cigarettes. Would all of those scientific breakthroughs been censored by social media. It seems so. In fact, clearly it is censorship of opinion that directly leads to bad science continuing on. Someone should point out to Mr Abdul-Jabbar and these social media titans that censorship endorses flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers, it does not defeat them. Opinion and free discussion about even crazy theories lead to better knowledge, better science, and better society.

  10. Jason,
    Over the weeks since the election there have been many high profile people call for censorship. Social media platforms are putting new policies to curtail opinions that are not held by MSM and Big Tech. This did not happen when when the Russia hysteria was going on for three years only to be proven false. It is insane to me that so many people want speech to be limited and have become more vocal since an election where a guy that didn’t leave his basement got the most votes in history for a presidential candidate.

  11. Jabbar has always suffered from big man’s disease. He’s never been comfortable being characterized as a tall jock. The 60’s and 70’s were the same as today. Celebrities have always leaned left and Captain Murdock went out of his way to prove he was thoughtful . These old timers were as woke as the current group because pop culture embraced it, rock and roll , anti-war etc. Jabbar knows there was great election fraud but doesn’t have the guts to say it. By the way, stop the anectdotal bullshit. This massive fraud is not anecdotal! This senile lying corpse Biden did not get record setting numbers. Trump won massively and the math proves it, if people would bother to check it out. Marxists picked 6 big counties in swing states and may have pulled it off. George Foreman defied groupthink in ’68 Olympics with American flag waving moment in the ring. Many athletes love America and Trump today, but don’t have the courage to say so.(still can’t figure out fear of Twitter pajama boys). Will there be some new Foremans, don’t hold your breath.

  12. Jason, your comments are spot-on. I wish LeBron would invite you onto the shop and debate you. However, he won’t do that because he knows you will clown him. Great article, as always. You are one of the few writers in America who gives great commentary every time he writes something. Well done, Sir.

  13. Nailed it again! I was listening (reluctantly) to Undisputed when Sharpe said that, I almost dropped the dog leash. Shannon told Kyrie to shut up and play ball. Didn’t hear anything about it anywhere until I read your column. I thought social media would blow up but I guess it depends on who is saying it.

  14. Perfect commentary, Jason! Well correlated and reasoned. This move toward censorship is both scary and dangerous. Kareem can say what he wishes on a public forum, and anyone else has the right to publicly disagree. That’s America

  15. Jason, your columns continue to be both fearless and thought provoking. And we, your readers, will “keep chopping wood”. There are few guarantees in life, but I can guarantee you that there are many of us who will never kneel before or bow down to the liberals who want to brainwash everyone and tear down the country. Thank you again.

  16. I knew the first paragraph of his editorial was too good to be true; Reminding people that no cares about what athletes and Hollywood people think about politics. Then Karen Abdul -Jabbar reminds us “Flat earthers” what he along with everyone else in liberal land are: Frauds and liars. Hey Karen, how about shut up and…….drop dead!

  17. Note that the leftist media ignores black intellectual giants like Shelby Steele or Thomas Sowell. Instead, they prop up a former athlete, with a decades long history of echoing social justice bromides (in a slow, apparently reasoned manner, which adds to his media credibility). Most of what comes out of his mouth is pure, hypocritical nonsense, such as the claim that there is no basis of 2020 election fraud. I assume he didn’t dig too deep to reach that conclusion, though leftists rarely do.

    Jabbar may be 7′ 2″, but his emotion over facts garbage is the hallmark of an intellectually challenged man (in pre-PC times, the term would be “intellectual midget”).

    In the ’70’s/80’s, fellow Knicks fans called him “Abdul the Fool”, because he often sky-hooked us into the L column. Today, that moniker is still true, but for reasons that have nothing to do with on-court athletics.

  18. At 61, I see our America at the inevitable crossroads upon which the last few decades have forced us.
    Our sins of overconsumption, lazy parenting, ‘education’ & leadership – especially in the form of respectable role models! – have come home to roost… so much so, that rational debate and basic logic are apparently impossible components in conversation and journalism.
    I am living it in my own personal relationship with the one whom I believe(d) to be the girl of my dreams, the love of my life.
    Double standards are the rule; speaking truth, the exception. Fake news – literally making shit up – is the basis of determining what’s ‘right’ and what’s not.
    This fake news is produced & directed by those who have been craftily undermining our instinctual goodness, much of what I would refer to as our American values of conservatism and capitalism, for many years now.
    Time is ticking.
    Time to choose a side.
    And fight for what’s right…
    Faking it will only drive us crazy. Just look around, to see how much of what prevails, actually should exist.

  19. Fear is an amazing emotion. It causes tall athletic superstar NBA players react to their slow aging physical demise with ‘irrationality’.

    on the left, all you have to speak well like a robot and the uninformed think they are hearing Ghandi or Churchill proclaim something of importance.

    it why Obama was actually elected. he whistles when he speaks and people think they are hearing a peaceful song.

    Traveling this wknd and watching espn for the first time in ages … wow it sucks. politics of the mask and patronizing women and minority athletes over and over.

    now they are attacking ND and Brian Kelly. wow.

  20. What is interesting is that these athletes who are great in what they do…literally top 1% of their respective sport…think that because of that greatness they are great at something else as well. I am a fantastically great nurse, but not a great basketball player. So why would I be qualified on how Lebron James should dribble more with his left hand? The sports figures with their entourages fawning over them perpetuate the myth that they know anything else but their sport

  21. Unfortunately social media grants celebrities and athletes the ability to attempt to stay relevant. Even in his prime, the same shit Jabbar speaks about wouldn’t have been printed… same goes for Lebron. Not a day goes by that some idiot who drives a Bentley thinks their opinion is earth shattering.
    Either fade off into the sunset, or at least become entertaining like Manning or Barkley… they get it!

  22. So according to Kareem, Rudy is a “flat earther” because he says numbers don’t add up and he believes it was election fraud. But Kareem and his buddies espouse critical race theory and systemic racism without any numbers or facts but in his world that isn’t a conspiracy theory.

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