Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar visited The O’Reilly Factor tonight to discuss Donald Sterling. But for some reason, O’Reilly also found it necessary to quiz Abdul-Jabbar about his patriotism. As if being black cast it in doubt in some way.
There was nothing in Abdul-Jabbar’s comments about Sterling to suggest any animosity toward our country. Abdul-Jabbar said he had no personal problem with Sterling when he had worked for him, that Sterling had been “very congenial” and had invited him to his daughter’s wedding. “It’s hard to understand who feels this way because no one wears a sign on their forehead that says, ‘a racist.’” Abdul-Jabbar explained.
But clearly, O’Reilly seemed to think Abdul-Jabbar had a sign saying, “African American” on his forehead. Rather than discuss the implications of the Sterling issue for basketball or sports or to an athlete, O’Reilly went on to quiz his guest about his blackness.
First, O’Reilly asked if black players in NBA should stop calling themselves the n-word.
Yes, Abdul-Jabbar thinks so. “I don’t think it (the n word) can ever be cleaned up and I think that black Americans should avoid using it,” he said.
Apparently satisfied, O’Reilly probed further. “You know, you and I are almost the same age… I want to ask you a personal question. Do you feel America has treated you fairly - you and your family?”
Abdul-Jabbar answered with more respect than I think had been shown him in such a question. He said, “For the most part. There’s pluses and minuses. Being a black American sometimes means that you have to deal with some things that you shouldn’t. But I don’t think that there’s any ethnic group in this country that hasn’t had a similar experience. It’s just that the whole issue of the slave trade made it different for people from Africa.”
So O’Reilly pushed further, “Do you respect your country? Do you love your country?”
Again, Abdul-Jabbar answered respectfully. “Yeah, I feel patriotic. This is the greatest country in the world because we have the ability here to make it better and we are constantly trying to do that. And I think that that sets us apart and I think we have to continually remember that when we try to get things done,” he replied.
O’Reilly asked another asinine question: “Can you forgive Sterling?” Was O’Reilly worried that Abdul-Jabbar was going to make too much of Sterling’s remarks? Exploit them as a race hustle? Walk around with an anti-white chip on his shoulder?
Abdul-Jabbar said, “Yeah, but he hasn’t asked for any forgiveness. He seems pretty secure in his attitude. And again, that’s part of the problem.”
You can watch the bizarre interview below.
I’d love to see him try — he’d get the same treatment from Jabbar as did the Bucks’ Kent Benson in 1977 . . .
Like I commented a couple times already, there’s no proof that Sterling is keeping the goodwill and quick forgiveness towards him by force, but it sure seems that way. Jenkins is the only person not biting his lip forgiving him, everyone else acts like there’s a consequence if they don’t.
In many ways, this is starting to remind me of a Batman villain named Ferris Boyle.
I don’t know how to take this, but I’m leaning towards A’hole. I don’t know what his thoughts were when asking these questions.
Kareem nailed it on the last two paragraphs.
So onto the next thing.
What i find odd is the NAACP forgives sterling. Why? Just like Kareem said, he never asked for forgiveness. At least i haven’t read anywhere that he did.
This guy has a long history of racism, and NOW they are jumping over him. Any thoughts on that? Why wait 10-15 years to hammer him?
Wonder why orally didn’t try to find some common ground with Jabbar? Probably because orally just seized on Jabbar’s feelings about Sterling.
Orally could have made an ally to some extent. He chose not to. Once again, orally chose poorly.
Roger Murdock: But just remember, my name is…
[showing his nametag]
Roger Murdock: ROGER MURDOCK. I’m an airline pilot.
Joey: I think you’re the greatest, but my dad says you don’t work hard enough on defense.
[Kareem gets angry]
Joey: And he says that lots of times, you don’t even run down court. And that you don’t really try… except during the playoffs.
Roger Murdock: [breaking character] The hell I don’t! LISTEN, KID! I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.
At which point, he lets go of Joey who backs away (with a look of “Oh crap—I just pissed my pants”).
The other scene is just after the cockpit crew is discovered to be unconscious from the bad dinner and Kareem is in his Lakers’ uniform. (It’s been a while but I think he also was holding a basketball in the scene.)
There really isn’t a bad scene in the whole film. It’s one of those rare films (and I think it was probably the first) to just throw out one-liners and random scenes of sheer crazy and have more than 99% of them hit the mark. (Barbara Billingsley translating the Black passengers’ jive—“Stewardess, I speak jive” ending with “chump don’t want no help, chump don’t get no help!”; a young boy chats up a little girl, offering her coffee and when he asks if she’d like some cream, “No thank you, I take it black like my men; Ted’s recounting his hospital stay—”That’s Lt Hurwitz; severe shell-shock. He thinks he’s Ethel Merman" at which point the real Ethel Merman bolts up from the bed and starts singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”; a passenger accepts a second cup of coffee, and his wife thinks “Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home” and later, after he takes an airsickness bag and begins puking into it, she thinks “Jim never vomits at home”; Johnny in the control tower and his just out-there reactions; Steve McCroskey and his whole “this was a bad week to stop” running gag; the hysterical passenger and the line to shut her up. Hilarity from start to finish.)
“I think a more objective description of O’Reilly is that he is just a huge asshole.”
Yes indeed Jerry — simply put, O’Reilly is a HUGE “born on third base but thinks he hit a triple” a**hole.
“He was also very funny in the movie “Airplane”."
LMAO! Yes he was — he played the co-pilot named “Roger Murdoch”. The pilot (Capt. Oveur) was played by the late Peter Graves, best known for his role in the 1970s TV show “Mission: Impossible”. Remember this dialogue? :
LAX AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Flight two-zero-niner, you are cleared to taxi to runway one-niner.
CAPT. OVEUR: Roger!
“For the most part. There’s pluses and minuses. Being a black American sometimes means that you have to deal with some things that you shouldn’t. But I don’t think that there’s any ethnic group in this country that hasn’t had a similar experience. It’s just that the whole issue of the slave trade made it different for people from Africa.”
Being of fairly recent Irish origin, Bill O’Reilly should have recognised this as a great put-down. But he didn’t because he remains willfully ignorant of how badly the Irish were treated even though they came over as supposedly free men, not slaves who could be bought and sold like livestock.
Kareem Abdul Jamaar is an intelligent and perceptive person, IMO.
And I think mj is on to something there too. When BOR asked that of Kareem, I had a quick flashback to Glenn Bek questioning the patriotism of the 1st Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, by asking him to prove that he was “not working with our enemies.” Hats off to Kareem for handling such a rude question with incredible grace.
During his 20 year NBA career he left as the all time leading scorer in league history and had that unstoppable sky hook. He won 6 world championships, one with the Milwaukee Bucks and 5 with my Los Angeles Lakers. He was also very funny in the movie Airplane.
I do remember the controversy and the outpouring of hate he received when he converted to the Muslin faith around 1972 and the name change. I wonder if that was the reasoning behind Bill’s odd questioning. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has always remained a man of tremendous class which showed in this interview. I wish him much happiness and good health. We need more like him, not just in sports but in society.
“We love our country as much as you loved your ex-wife Maureen.” Or you can insert Andrea’s name.
More likely, BillO thought Abdul-Jabbar had a sign saying, “Muslim” on his forehead . . .
Or just said, “I love this country as much as you do, Bill. Or maybe even more.”