Douglas Andrews / November 11, 2021

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Black Privilege

The adult son of the NBA legend gets an appallingly light sentence for an extremely violent crime.

When NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired from basketball in 1989, his farewell tour included lengthy standing ovations and gifts ranging from framed jerseys to a Persian rug to a yacht emblazoned with “Captain Skyhook.” But some fans, no doubt many of them, were left to wonder why the NBA was honoring this man, given that he’d spent his entire career being a petulant jerk. Had the league run out of humans?

Apparently, the Abdul-Jabbar apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kareem’s son Adam, 29, was sentenced Tuesday in Southern California to six months in jail. His crime? He stabbed his 60-year-old neighbor seven times with a hunting knife. Prosecutors said the victim, Ray Winsor, was stabbed in the back of the head, suffered a fractured skull, and nearly died of blood loss after collapsing outside of the emergency room. As Fox 5 San Diego reports:

Abdul-Jabbar pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a count of carrying a dirk or dagger, all felonies, while admitting sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury on the victim. He could have faced up to nine years and eight months in prison if convicted as charged at trial, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Six months for seven stabs with a hunting knife? Is it just us, or does that sentence seem a bit, oh, light? What’s more, as part of his plea deal, Abdul-Jabbar’s sentence was stayed until January 7, which the DA’s office said will allow him to apply for home confinement instead of incarceration.

“This slap on the wrist is an absolute miscarriage of justice,” said District Attorney Todd Spitzer after the sentencing. “This man nearly bled to death in front of the emergency room doors after being stabbed so violently over and over that his skull was fractured.”

Wow. We’re not sure whether it’s “rich privilege” or “black privilege” or a combination of both, but that’s some serious privilege. Abdul-Jabbar must’ve had a sterling legal team in his corner, because there’s no way a public defender could’ve worked out such a sweet plea deal. One wonders whether his dad’s name, or his millions, helped him here.

One also wonders whether his son’s stunningly light sentence will cause Kareem to reconsider his comments from last year, when, at the height of the George Floyd riots, he wrote in an LA Times op-ed: “The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system, and jobs. … We die at a significantly higher rate than whites, are the first to lose our jobs, and watch helplessly as Republicans try to keep us from voting. Just as the slimy underbelly of institutional racism is being exposed, it feels like hunting season is open on blacks.”

Poor Kareem. Especially if he doesn’t understand that blacks and whites both die at the exact same rate: 100%.

To be fair to young Abdul-Jabbar, though, residents in the area described him as a “good kid” and were shocked by the then-alleged violence. The 6-foot-8-inch lad even walked over to the victim’s house the next day and apologized to his wife.

Sorry about the multiple stab wounds, ma'am. He just kinda caught me at a bad time.

And isn’t that the way it always works? They’re all such nice young men until they pull out the ol’ hunting knife and start stabbing away at their elderly neighbors. As Winsor himself put it: “I sort of got on him because the lady who takes care of him is 83 years old, he doesn’t do anything for her, and it just bums me out. She’s in a walker taking her trash cans down.”

According to Winsor, he started to walk away from Abdul-Jabbar and “felt punching.” As it turns out, then, the assailant in this case isn’t just any thug; he’s a backstabbing thug. “I thought he punched me a couple of times,” said Winsor, “but then I saw blood.”

So the old white guy nearly got stabbed to death in a dispute about garbage cans — a dispute about the proper treatment of the elderly.

Next time, maybe he’ll check his privilege and mind his own business.

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