Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar draws parallels between national anthem & slave songs
In an opinion piece for the Hollywood Reporter, the Lakers legend noted that slave owners used compulsory singing to “drown out their own cruelty and oppression [and] clothe them in a coerced choir of decency,” adding: “Currently, the song being demanded is the national anthem during football games.”
Abdul-Jabbar wrote that for black NFL athletes, the anthem’s message of “the land of the free” doesn’t represent the day-to-day reality for African-Americans. “They love their country but want that country to recognize the suffering that occurs when it isn’t living up to its constitutional promises… The daily challenge for African-Americans is getting white Americans to listen to their song, especially when it isn’t a grinning, grateful or pandering patriotic song.”
The Basketball Hall of Famer has been a vocal critic of Trump’s scathing remarks about NFL players who have kneeled during the national anthem.
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