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August 17, 2018

Former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar draws parallels between national anthem & slave songs

Black athletes are being forced to sing the national anthem in the same way that slaves were ordered by their masters to sing songs, former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar argued in a recent op-ed.

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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