America is struggling in the aftermath of police killings of black men in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland, Florida, and more…and more. Today Time published an essay by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar entitled “Why I Have Mixed Feelings About MLK Day.” Few celebrities utilize their celebrity status for the well-being of society. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar does.
I reprint the beginning of it below. I encourage you to click through and read the whole thing.
[Full disclosure: I have no interest in the NBA, but I have been a fan of this intelligent and articulate man for years. In fact, I included “Kareem” in Cheesie Mack Is Sort of Freaked Out as the middle name of one of Cheesie’s friends, Glenn Philips…and he, according to Cheesie, is the smartest kid in school.]
Abdul-Jabbar’s essay begins:
I have mixed emotions about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For me, it’s a time of hopeful celebration — but also of cautionary vigilance. I celebrate an extraordinary man of courage and conviction and his remarkable achievements and hope that I can behave in a manner that honors his sacrifices. And while Dr. King still has his delusional detractors, who have a dream of dismissing his impact on history, it’s not them I worry about.Continue reading “MLK Day and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”→
LeBron James, 25, is arguably professional basketball’s biggest star. A member of the Cleveland Cavaliers since jumping straight from high school in 2003, he has led the Cavs to playoff berths for six consecutive seasons. In addition to his basketball salary, he makes many millions each year from endorsements. In December 2007, James was ranked first in the Forbes “Top 20 Earners Under 25” with annual earnings of estimated at $27 million. He is a very wealthy young man with more lucre to come.
In 1964, Cassius Clay, then only 22, brashly boasted that he would upset 7-1 favorite Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship. “I am the greatest!” he shouted. In retrospect, Clay clearly was the greatest. Why did his outbursts upset so many white sportscasters and fans?