NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has always been vocal about hot-button political issues, so the former basketball star was thrilled to see Michael Jordan finally speak out about police brutality in a heartfelt letter last month.
Abdul-Jabbar stopped by The Huffington Post Monday to discuss his new book Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White and applauded Jordan’s choice to break his silence.
“I’m really happy that Michael Jordan has decided to speak up because so many people revere him and understand that he has integrity and now that he’s thinking about these issues and has decided to say something about it, I think it’s great,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
Jordan’s letter was a marked change for the former Chicago Bulls shooting guard who previously shied away from discussing political issues and, as such faced criticism for it from Abdul-Jabbar last year.
While speaking with HuffPost’s Jacques Morel, Abdul-Jabbar stressed the importance of speaking out about racial issues and encouraged African Americans to get involved with the political process to create real change. He suggested engaging white Americans in the conversation as well.
“The fact that white Americans have some degree of privilege in our country has made them maybe reluctant to deal with these issues because they have a lot more to lose,” he said. “So I think we’ve got to get to a point where we can communicate with the other side and let them know that everybody wins when justice prevails. Everybody wins.”
Hear more from Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the video above and check out his full interview here.