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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reacts to Will Smith's slapping incident - “He advocated violence and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community”

Eloquent as always, Kareem explained the mistake Smith made, and how it's being used to misrepresent their community in the media
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke up about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards

Kareem Abdul Jabbar speaks his mind on a lot of things, and when he does, it makes sense. When he commented on the Oscars fiasco where a black, famous, and wealthy actor slapped a black and famous comedian for an offensive joke aimed at his wife, Kareem claimed it wasn’t an act of chivalry.

Abdul Jabbar on Will Smith

We all know what went down at the Oscars, and unsurprisingly, the reactions have been polarized, with some applauding Will Smith for his act of chivalry to protect his wife and family while others claim it was uncalled for and an assault.

For NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Will Smith’s actions are uncalled for and put the Black community in a bad light, as expressed on his website.

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“When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face. With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Substack

The Lakers legend added that the award-winning actor added fuel to the notion that African Americans are more prone to do violent acts.

“Smith just gave comfort to the enemy by providing them with the perfect optics they were dreaming of. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro wasted no time going full-metal jacket racist by declaring the Oscars are “not the hood.” What would she have said if Brad Pitt slapped Ricky Gervais?”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Substack

NBA reactions to the slapping incident

Meanwhile, the NBA community offered different reactions to it. You can’t right a wrong by doing another wrong. Will Smith has a platform, and he did something out of impulse on a show televised worldwide. Should he have exercised constraint? Yes. Could he have opted to walk away or settle things differently? Absolutely.

Did Chris Rock cross the line? Yes. As Smith explained, if he were the target of the jokes, he would have taken it with a grain of salt, but since it’s his wife who’s suffering from a medical condition, it’s a different matter altogether.

Kareem continues to be a legend on and off the court because of his stand and belief on issues that continue to affect the African American community. He may not always be on point with his arguments, but he presents them in a balanced view. If anything, people should follow his substack to get to know how one of the greatest basketball players ever to live thinks. 

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