Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most influential basketball players in the history of the NBA. The Hall of Famer is avidly sharing his views over developments he finds interesting, and often criticizes public figures.

Will Smith is currently trending over his actions at the Oscars. With the Smith family and Chris Rock all being subjected to a lot of Internet criticism, it’s not going to change any time soon. Abdul-Jabbar has come forward to share what he thinks of Will Smith’s actions.

The NBA’s all-time greatest scorer took to criticizing Will Smith in an article for Substack. He accused the actor of perpetuating racial stereotypes after his lack of control over the joke that comedian Chris Rock made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face. With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.

Abdul-Jabbar added, however, that some celebrities have a different way of interpreting his actions. He noted that Tiffany Haddish, for example, looked at the incident as Will Smith being a loving husband who is not afraid to stand up for his wife’s honor.

Actually, it was the opposite. Smith’s slap was also a slap to women. If Rock had physically attacked Pinkett Smith, Smith’s intervention would have been welcome. Or if he’d remained in his seat and yelled his post-slap threat, that would have been unnecessary, but understandable. But by hitting Rock, he announced that his wife was incapable of defending herself—against words,

The NBA legend opined that Jada Pinkett Smith has proven from time to time again that she is capable of dealing with a joke herself. Will Smith issued an apology to Chris Rock while stating that he is a work in progress. It was recently reported that about 70% of people supported Will Smith and his actions at the Oscar’s.

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Nitish Vashishtha

Nitish Vashishtha is a freelance writer/news correspondent from India. He’s written content for companies like ScoopWhoop and Sportskeeda. He’s been writing about pop-culture, current affairs and pro-wrestling since 2017. While pursuing Master's in Mass Communication with a special interest in Advertising, his key areas of creativity lie in designing, content creation and creative storytelling as well as fictional writing. In his free time, he likes to create new riffs on his guitar, learning about whatever piques his interest, reading books ranging from philosophy to speculative sci-fi and enjoys watching anything HBO (Succession FTW).

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