Former NBA professional, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is fighting back against harmful stereotypes of national-level athletes. In an essay written and published in Cosmopolitan, the basketball player dished on what he thinks of the Tristan Thompson cheating allegations, as well as the perpetuation of false narratives.
According to Jabbar, the most common response to the cheating charges is for people to throw their hands up in exasperation and ask, “well, what did she expect? After all, he’s a famous athlete, and she must’ve known that he’d cheat.”
Abdul said that the implication which lies there within is that men who play professional sports shouldn’t be held to a standard that considers them as grown and responsible adults, capable of making reasonable decisions.
Jabbar said that this is a common trope among the public, and it’s discriminatory. If we were to make sweeping generalizations about a black person, for example, no one would accept it.
However, athletes have to lie down and take it, and there’s no reason for it. Abdul’s defense of Tristan Thompson comes after the reports came out claiming he had cheated on the Kardashian sister, Khloe, while pregnant with his and her child.
Furthermore, in the former player’s essay, Abdul explained that he’s dealt with stereotypes of professional male athletes his entire life, and we, as a culture, need to stop stereotyping people based on their “gender or profession.”
We are to judge Tristan for his actions, rather than what he does for a living or his biological sex.
And while that’s a heart-warming thought, the truth is that people will always categorize phenomena in the world, because that’s how we go about making judgments regarding our the environment.
However, Abdul is right; individuals have to do their best to get to know someone or something before passing judgment. As for the Kardashian-Jenner clan’s response, nobody from the family has commented on it yet publicly.