Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Michael Jordan: ‘He Took Commerce Over Conscience’  

They’re both legends in basketball, but one has decided to make a difference when it comes to political and social issues.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t one to mince words when it comes to his social and political views. Over the last couple of years, Abdul-Jabbar has been vocal about politics and activism, not only in the U.S. but abroad. And it’s safe to say he’s made good use of his time since retiring from basketball.

But not every basketball player is as astute as Abdul-Jabbar when it comes to politics, and in a recent interview with NPR, the former Los Angeles Laker had a few things to say about Michael Jordan with regard to the infamous “Republicans buy sneakers, too” comment Jordan reportedly made in 1990.

“You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights,” Abdul-Jabbar told NPR.

And it’s those sneaker sales that have kept Jordan at the top of the list of highest-paying athletes even though he’s retired.

“He took commerce over conscience. It’s unfortunate for him, but he’s gotta live with it,” Abdul-Jabbar went on to say.

Abdul-Jabbar isn’t the only one speaking out against Jordan recently.

Earlier this month, retired NBA player Stephon Marbury defended his affordable sneaker against Jordan’s overpriced sneaker, saying they’re both made in the same factory.


Over the last year, Jordan has made over $100 million with his sneaker brand, which is more than what he made during his NBA career. There’s no denying the fact that Jordan has literally turned Nike into what it is today, but should we expect him to be vocal about social and political issues, especially since he’s never done so in the past?

It’s not hard to tell what Jordan’s bottom line consists of, but thankfully, there are those out there, like Abdul-Jabbar, who are willing to stand up and be vocal about things they believe in besides sneakers.