NBA legend and U.S. cultural ambassador spoke at DNC

By Oliver Gettell
July 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

NBA icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is known for his signature skyhook, but he took a different type of shot at Donald Trump during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Gracing the stage Thursday evening, the sportsman and U.S. cultural ambassador mocked the Republican presidential nominee by introducing himself as Michael Jordan. As the crowd chuckled, Abdul-Jabbar delivered the punchline: “I said that because I know that Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”

Abdul-Jabbar, who famously converted to Islam and changed his name from Lew Alcindor in 1971, also blasted Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

“Donald Trump’s idea to register Muslims and prevent them from entering our country is the very tyranny [Thomas] Jefferson abhorred,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

He added, “At its core, discrimination is the result of fear. Those who think Americans scare easily — enough to abandon our country’s ideal’s in exchange for a false sense of security — underestimate our resolve. To them we say only this: Not here, not ever.”

Watch a clip from Abdul-Jabbar’s speech below.

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