Mike Pont via Getty Images
Mike Pont via Getty Images

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has never been afraid to be unpopular if it meant taking a stand for what he believed in — even if his legacy in the history books was at stake. This past week, he expressed sadness and just a hint of judgment when he said the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, doesn’t share those same priorities.

In a conversation with NPR’s Michel Martin last weekend, the former Laker essentially pitted his own willingness to “speak out” against MJ’s well-noted reluctance to appear controversial. Asked about Jordan’s reported refusal to endorse a Democratic senatorial candidate because “Republicans buy sneakers too,” Abdul-Jabbar went on the offensive.

You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights,” he said. “He took commerce over conscience. It’s unfortunate for him, but he’s gotta live with it.”

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