Kareem Abdul-Jabbar condemns Anthony Edwards, challenges him to do volunteer work with LGBTQ+ community

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is dismissing the apology of Anthony Edwards for making homophobic remarks, saying that the Minnesota Timberwolves star needs to show contrition through his actions.

Abdul-Jabbar offered his thoughts on his Substack and noted that comments like the one Edwards made are nothing new, indicating that an apology simply isn’t sufficient in this instance.

“It would be easy to dismiss Edwards’ immaturity—he’s only 21—if not for the fact that we’ve seen so many cases of famous athletes and owners in the news spouting racism, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “This damages sports in general and their teams specifically, and revives the old stereotype of the dumb, bullying jock.

“But more important, it perpetuates prejudice against a group and that prejudice often leads to restricting rights and to violence. I don’t think an apology—however heartfelt—is enough. Edwards needs to repair the damage with some voluntary community service with LGBTQ+ organizations, particularly youth groups, to show his support. If he can’t do that much to undo the harm he’s caused, then his apology is meaningless.”

Edwards posted a video on social media earlier this month in which he’s seen in a car referring to group of men as “queer” as laughter is heard in the background.

After a barrage of criticism from other social media users, Edwards removed the video and made an effort to mitigate the damage by offering an apology.

In the wake of Edwards’ controversial comments, the Timberwolves also made an effort to reduce the public relations damage that was caused. As far as the NBA’s actions, it has yet to make any decision, though it appears highly likely that Edwards will be fined.

It’s clear that despite Edwards’ efforts, his words are ringing hollow with Abdul-Jabbar, who’s made an effort to broaden social awareness on major issues for decades.

Abdul-Jabbar’s blog is an effort to address subjects related to sports, politics and popular culture. This particular blog focuses on other recent topics such as migrants being transported to Martha’s Vineyard and school censorship.

The New Challenge for Edwards

Edwards’ comments will undoubtedly overshadow the start of the Timberwolves’ training camp later this month and perhaps forever color the perception of one of the NBA’s rising stars. Previous actions by Edwards have shown that he’s an otherwise decent person.

In November 2020, Edwards was the top overall pick of that year’s NBA draft and has made a huge impact during his first two seasons of action. During those two campaigns, he’s averaged 20.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

That level of production helped the Timberwolves reach the playoffs last season, with the trade for center Rudy Gobert offering more hope for this coming year.

There’s no current indication whether Edwards will follow the advice of Abdul-Jabbar, though he’ll likely be under a microscope to see if he makes any disparaging comments in the future.

In this particular situation, Abdul-Jabbar is hoping that the adage that “actions speak louder than words” ends up resonating with Edwards.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.