With all that is going on lately, we missed acknowledging Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s 51st birthday on March 9.
Abdul-Rauf is one of the most respected athletes of his, or any, generation.
We know what a remarkable shooter he was during his days at LSU and in the NBA, where his career was cut short because of his personal beliefs. But his courage to stand by those beliefs and hold America accountable for his injustices should always be remembered.
In 1996 Abdul-Rauf called the American flag ‘a symbol of oppression’ for black people and poor people. That sparked a nationwide controversy. He only played three more seasons after that and was out of the NBA at 31.
The No. 3 overall draft pick in the 1990 draft ‘only’ played nine seasons. Although nine years is a great run for most, clearly Abdul-Rauf had more in his tank.
Abdul-Rauf, who today travels the country speaking for justice, equality and human rights, has no regrets about his career being short-changed. (Check out his interview with TheAfricanAmericanAthlete from April of 2018 that is linked below.)
At the raising of his No. 35 jersey to the rafters at LSU back in Feb. Abdul Rauf was asked how he would like to be remembered. Abdul-Rauf said: “When it’s all said and done, basketball is a tool…Being a great person, standing up for what’s right, that means more to me than the game of basketball.”
Listen to the interview and watch the sheer firepower Abdul-Rauf has displayed in the link below the interview.