Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Wants You to Forgive Rachel Dolezal

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Wants You to Forgive Rachel Dolezal

NBA Hall of Famer says shamed ex-NAACP spokesperson improved Black community.

Published June 16, 2015

Rachel Dolezal, the ex-head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, continues to receive plenty of backlash for claiming to be Black all these years, but there are some who would like to give her a pass for her white lie.

One defender of Dolezal, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, believes the Black community is better off because of her efforts. Abdul-Jabbar penned a column for Time magazine on Monday, giving Dolezal credit for championing Black people.

"Despite all this, you can’t deny that Dolezal has proven herself a fierce and unrelenting champion for African-Americans politically and culturally," the six-time NBA champion wrote in part of the column. "Perhaps some of this sensitivity comes from her adoptive Black siblings. Whatever the reason, she has been fighting the fight for several years and seemingly doing a first-rate job. Not only has she led her local chapter of the NAACP, she teaches classes related to African-American culture at Eastern Washington University and is chairwoman of a police oversight committee monitoring fairness in police activities. Bottom line: The Black community is better off because of her efforts."

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Abdul-Jabbar goes on to point out the history of race, even asking at one point if it matters whether Dolezal is Black or white.

"As far as Dolezal is concerned, technically, since there is no such thing as race, she’s merely selected a cultural preference of which cultural group she most identifies with," he also wrote. "Who can blame her? Anyone who listens to the Isaac Hayes song, “Shaft,” wants to be Black — for a little while anyway (#who’sthecatwhowon’tcopout)."

Funny one, sir. We can't front on the Isaac Hayes reference though.

If you haven't seen it, Dolezal was interviewed this morning on theToday Show.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

(Photos from left: Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review via AP/ File)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

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