Sports and politics — some say they go together, others say they should never go together, and that athletes should just shut up and play. President Trump touched off a big debate about the topic with his incendiary comments last week. On this first of two episodes, I discuss the role of athletes in politics with the one and only Kareem Abdul Jabbar — an icon whose life has been a study in how athletics and politics intertwine. Since he was a young player, Kareem chose to use his platform for political causes. In 1967, he stood in solidarity at the famous “Ali Summit’ to show support for Muhammed Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the war. He then boycotted the 1968 Olympics. Now, he is a prolific writer on political and cultural issues. During our conversation, we discussed everything from civil rights to Islamophobia to his role in Airplane! to the Colin Kaepernick controversy to climate change.

 

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