Tuesday, August 30, 2016

His Name Is Lew Alcindor!

John Carlos now
The venerable liberal writer and, oh yes, athlete, Kareem Abdul Jabber is one of those standing up for the professional football quarterback who refuses to stand for the national anthem. (Clicking this link might use up one of your three free monthly Washington Post articles -- I guess they, too, are counting now.) This is a nice column by Kareem, who also wrote (albeit with some help) a good book about his year as an assistant coach on an Apache reservation over by Show Low, AZ.

John Carlos (right) then
Also standing up for Colin Kaepernick is John Carlos, the surviving duo from what to me was the most dramatic moment in sports history (besides my 12 points in the fourth quarter against St Joe Catholic) when he and Tommie Smith gave their black glove raised fist salute to the national anthem at the 1968 Olympics. I've heard Carlos interviewed about a book he and Socialist sports writer Dave Zirin wrote about  that incident and its aftermath. He went through some hard times for a few years before America started to understand what he did and ultimately, for the most part, forgave him.

I certainly, at the time, didn't understand why they did that, or why Kareem changed his name from Lew Alcindor, which outraged and offended my friend and fellow sports fanatic Steve Cook and I. We said we'd call him Lew Alcindor forever and kept repeating, "His name is Lew Alcindor!" Lew Alcindor was a pretty cool name, after all.

Neither did I understand my older brother, Bob, applying for conscientious objector status to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam  War. I was a kid. No offense to kids.

1 comment:

  1. One of the few reason I keep subscribing to Time. Kareem ! Oh and being a longtime supporter of the "free internet" I'm totally pissed with the Washington Posts switch to limited access. I been enjoying their daily Trump Trashing but its definitely not worth paying for someday.... Which will, no doubt, be nest.