Kareen Abdual-Jabbar was looking familiar among the press back in Milwaukee where his professional basketball career began. He was promoting his book and stage performance “Becoming Kareem”. The event was at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the stage performance was moderated by Milwaukee sports personality Bill Michaels. The show was essentially a fluid conversation with the basketball/cultural icon about the journey that led Kareem to that very stage.
The line of questions from the press, during the red carpet portion of the evening, ranged from “who was the hardest guy you ever guarded” to “what do you hope people take away from this evening and from your book”. The questions were also surrounding his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick and as would be expected, Kareem was extremely supportive of Kaepernick all athletes that are raising awareness for social injustice.
As the book and performance chronicle, Abdual-Jabbar never courted the spotlight even though his profession and his beliefs were both conducive to celebrity. Kareem simply stayed true to himself and if the lights got brighter, he simply used that celebrity to speak for those unable or unwilling to speak for themselves. Kareem Abdual-Jabbar has always been larger-than-life champion for social justice. Whether or not you believe in his point of view, you absolutely believe in his sincerity, his compassion and his willingness to stay involved.
At no point do you ever believe that Kareem Abdual-Jabbar is just trying to sell books and tickets to a show. And that is comforting and further justification of the lifetime of respect he has been shown by reasonable people.