Onstage with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I had the honor of interviewing Kareem Abdul Jabbar in front of a packed auditorium at The National Museum Of African American History And Culture. We talked for over an hour about his new book Becoming Kareem “Growing Up On Amd Off The Court” and my book We Matter “Athletes And Activism”. We discussed how he always stood up for what he believed  in and how much he looked up to key individuals in his past such as Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and his coach at UCLA John Wooden. We talked about to new wave of Athlete Activism and how proud he is to see current athletes taking a stand for what they believe in. He also stressed that everyone not just athletes need to use their voice and their platforms as well. He made it a point to echo his sentiments in my book where he expressed the importance of voting, doing your research and not accepting any and every piece of information that the media feeds you. As you can see by the expressions in the pictures below, we had some intense times of conversation and shared quite a few laughs. Kareem has always been a pioneer for athletes using their voice and their platforms. From the time my mother taught me about him in middle school, she gave me his video (on VHS) called Kareem Reflections From Inside, as well as a book about his life and I have been intrigued ever since. I want young athletes to read my interview with him in We Matter and to become inspired by his courage and his wisdom. I posted the entire interview in the Athletes And Activism section of this website. It was an absolute honor to share the stage with Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Reading a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar quote from We Matter “Athletes And Activism “Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and cannot or should not be involved in. Athletes are no different than any other person. If you are concerned about something and you have a platform, then use it. The reason why those people focus on athletes is because their additional status in their community among their peers fans and the entire country means they have power and can really influence people. And of course just think of it logically, if you have someone with that type of power and influence, pushing for something you don’t agree with, of course they are going to try to do whatever they can to silence them, because they are a threat to them. But athletes should never shy away from their power, but rather recognize and embrace their capabilities.”

Mutual Respect.

Danielle Sykes

Caryberry Graphic Designs, LLC, Clinton, MD 20735