Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has a Theory on Why Michael Jordan Didn’t Address Social Issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has a Theory on Why Michael Jordan Didn’t Address Social Issues

Hoops legend thinks MJ chose commerce over conscience.

Published November 4, 2015

Toward the end of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's legendary career, a new force was taking the NBA by storm. His name was Michael Jordan.

While Jordan would go on to match Abdul-Jabbar's six league titles on the court, the Hall of Famers couldn't be more different off the court.

Abdul-Jabbar openly spoke about social issues and continues to do so today, while Jordan opted to bypass those issues and for the most part continues that silent treatment about heated topics in the news to this day.

When appearing on NPR on Tuesday night, Abdul-Jabbar responded to Jordan's infamous quote, "Republicans buy sneakers, too," made in 1990. That quote was MJ's way of saying he wouldn't take a stand on social issues so that rich Americans would continue to purchase his high-priced shoes. That doesn't fly with Kareem.

“You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights,” Abdul-Jabbar told NPR.

But he wasn't done blasting Jordan just yet.

“He took commerce over conscience," Abdul-Jabbar said of Jordan. "It’s unfortunate for him, but he’s gotta live with it."

Abdul-Jabbar's criticism of Jordan comes days after he praised LeBron James for recently speaking out about the rash of police-related deaths of Black males in the United States.

Watch as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaks on ball, Black Lives Matter and more.


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 (Photos from left: Mike Pont/WireImage, Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

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