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Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar really wants to see a lot more than just words from Anthony Edwards following the Minnesota Timberwolves guard made anti-gay comments.
Abdul-Jabbar wrote about Edwards on his Substack (h/t Brad Sullivan of Lakers Daily) and said the simplest way for the young player to “repair the damage” is through volunteer work rather than just an apology:
“It could be an easy task to dismiss Edwards’ immaturityhe’s only 21or even for the truth that we’ve seen so many cases of famous athletes and owners in the news headlines spouting racism, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. This damages sports generally and their teams specifically, and revives the old stereotype of the dumb, bullying jock.
“But more important, it perpetuates prejudice against an organization and that prejudice often results in restricting rights also to violence. I don’t believe an apologyhowever heartfeltis enough. Edwards must repair the damage with some voluntary community service with LGBTQ+ organizations, particularly youth groups, showing his support. If he can’t do this much to undo the harm he’s caused, then his apology is meaningless.”
Edwards was heard on a video using anti-gay language to criticize several men, which resulted in a lot of criticism on social media marketing.
He took to Twitter on Sept. 11 and said he was “incredibly sorry” for using such language:
Abdul-Jabbar is among the best players in NBA history, but he could be known for a lot more than just his basketball ability.
He was a social justice activist after and during his career, and the NBA even created the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy to honor the ball player who follows in his footsteps with regards to social justice.
He’s got also never hesitated to criticize current players, including LeBron James, for what he sees as failures to call home around certain standards, and Edwards may be the latest example.
Edwards, who was simply the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft, figures to become a face of the franchise for the Timberwolves for a long time ahead. Abdul-Jabbar believes there’s a chance to mitigate a few of the harm he caused along with his words but only through certain actions.