Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Men have ‘gotta get over’ their issues with equal pay
NEW YORK– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t afraid to express himself. His latest target? The gender pay gap.
Abdul-Jabbar sat down with CNN’s Poppy Harlow to discuss his race, politics and unequal pay — topics that he addresses in his new book “Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White.”
In his book, Abdul-Jabbar writes that “gender equality may be the most important issue facing our society because it cuts across all races, religions and economic strata.”
Abdul-Jabbar said in the interview that it’s an “injustice” and is especially problematic because women are often single parents.
“Men are going to have to realize that they made a very cushy situation for themselves and that that can’t continue like that and it’s going to be uncomfortable for them to give up some of that power and comfort,” he said. “They gotta get over it and make the adjustment.”
Abdul-Jabbar, who supports Hillary Clinton and spoke at the Democratic National Convention on her behalf, also shared his thoughts on Donald Trump.
“If he wanted to address African Americans, he should come and speak to them,” he said. “[Trump] says he’s gonna make it better, but he never says how.”
In the past, Abdul-Jabbar has been outspoken about his thoughts on police relations in the U.S. This summer he tweeted that “both the black and police communities live in fear — because they cannot see each other’s humanity.”
During the interview, he said police and people in the community need to get to know each other. His father and grandfather were both police officers, which he noted gave him important perspective.
Abdul-Jabbar said that in the past disproportionate numbers of black people were stopped and frisked by police in New York City.
He also said police shouldn’t act in a way that causes them to be seen as an “occupying army,” but added that communities need to understand police have an important job to do.
“If there’s gonna be peace and tranquility in a neighborhood, the police and the neighborhood have to be on terms that allow them to communicate and go about their business,” he said.
Abdul-Jabbar also talked about the importance of athletes speaking out against injustice.
“There’s a responsibility because they are also parents and husbands,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
He hopes his book will “start a conversation” about the issues plaguing the country that lead to more understanding.