Commenting on 'Girls' and Coming Out of the Locker Room Ghetto

Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Paul Warner/Getty Images Entertainment)
Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Paul Warner/Getty Images Entertainment)

Writing at the Huffington Post, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tries to unpack why so many were shocked that a former athlete is able to tackle topics outside of sports.

Last week I wrote a blog for The Huffington Post in which I commented on the HBO series Girls. My conclusion: Although the show strives to be a voice of its generation (or even if it doesn't, some consider it to be — see the current cover of Entertainment Weekly), it isn't quite there yet. But it's still a worthwhile show, with a worthwhile point of view.

There was much reaction. Some questioned why a man my age would watch a show about girls in their twenties, as if they'd just discovered me hanging around a school playground with a shopping bag full of candy in one hand a fluffy puppy in the other. Of course, these critics are right. When I read Moby Dick I first had to convince the bookseller that I was a former whaler named Queequeg. When I read the poetry of Sylvia Plath, I had to pretend I was a depressed white woman with daddy issues. Don't worry, I used a fake ID.

Why did I review Girls? As I said in the review, we should all be intently listening to voices of the next generation, hearing what they have to say and, when they are struggling to say it, help them to articulate better. That's the advantage of growing older in this youth-centric society — maybe the only advantage.

The overwhelming reaction to my review was complimentary which, because it was my first foray into pop culture reviewing, made me feel both appreciative and humbled. But even among some of the positive response was an underlying head-scratching theme: isn't it amazing that a former jock can have opinions on pop culture and articulate it with words and references to books and movies?


Read Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.