Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Rumors
How are you feeling and processing everything right now? Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf: Outraged. But this is a feeling I’ve been having for many, many years, and I think Black people in general [have]. To constantly wake up to televised and broad-daylight public executions in what we would classify as the murder of Black people, with George Floyd being the most recent and visible casualty. It’s reminiscent of when you reach back in history where people used to send postcards of lynchings and burnings and mutilated bodies to share with their loved ones and their friends. Now it’s just video shared and it’s on television.
“But at that period of time, I was asking us to boycott in order to create some type of an ownership, black ownership within the league, having a league look reflective on the ownership level to what was on the court,” Hodges added. “And it continues today. You know, I seen yesterday, where the league is talking about some type of racial justice committee or whatever. I’m glad to see that. Hopefully, they’ll bring in Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and myself and other players who I’m sure feel like they have been castigated in the past.”
David Fizdale: No matter how powerful, how rich or how famous you become, racism is an inevitable obstacle that black men face. As Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, many of us in the sports world were asked, “What will you do?” While leading my team, would I kneel in support of Kaep? My answer was simple: If my team kneels, then I’m kneeling. This would no doubt anger some, and I asked myself, “Should I just shut up and coach?” Our team at that time decided not to kneel, but a big part of me lives in regret for not taking a knee. If more of us took that knee, where would we be as a country today? I don’t know. There was also a part of me that feared that protest would be putting my career at risk. Just like Kaep, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf or Muhammad Ali, who all had their careers damaged for protesting injustice.
LSU now has quite a starting five of great names on display in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s name and No. 35 jersey joined the numbers and names of Maravich, Bob Pettit, Rudy Macklin and Shaquille O’Neal on Saturday in a halftime ceremony during the Tigers’ 64-50 win over Texas A&M.
Abdul-Rauf, who played under his given name Chris Jackson at LSU from 1988-90, received a standing ovation as he was honored at midcourt, surrounded by four of his five children, LSU teammates, former LSU coach Dale Brown and Pettit. “Never could I have written this story for myself, to be in this position, 30 years later, and have my jersey retired,” Abdul-Rauf said.
Also attending the game was former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who like Abdul-Rauf in his NBA days has been a lightning rod for bringing attention to social justice causes. Kapernick remained in the stands during the halftime ceremony.