Colin Kaepernick on Friday met and posed for a picture with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a former star guard whom the NBA suspended 20 years ago for not standing for the national anthem.
Abdul-Rauf was in Oakland for a screening and discussion of “By the Dawn’s Early Light,” a documentary that follows his political and spiritual journey.
Earlier this month, Abdul-Rauf said he had never met Kaepernick but fully supported his protest, in which he takes a knee during the playing of the national anthem, to bring awareness to racial inequalities in America.
“It’s good to continue to draw people’s attention to what’s going on whether you’re an athlete, a politician, or a garbage man. These discussions are necessary,” Abdul-Rauf recently told Jesse Washington of theundefeated.com. “Sometimes it takes people of that stature, athletes and entertainers, because the youth are drawn to them, [more than] teachers and professors, unfortunately.”
In 1996, the NBA suspended Abdul-Rauf, formerly known as Chris Jackson during his days as a college star at LSU, for one game for his failure to line up in a “dignified posture” for the anthem. He reached a compromise with the NBA that allowed him to stand and pray with his head down during the anthem.
Abdul-Rauf was traded to the Sacramento Kings, playing two seasons before playing 1998-99 season in Turkey. He returned to the NBA in 2000-01 to finish his career with Vancouver. In nine NBA seasons, Abdul-Rauf appeared in 336 games and averaged 14.6 points per game.
Colin Kaepernick and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf met for the first time yesterday. Iconic moment. pic.twitter.com/I8WrMWBett— Shooter McGavin (@Radio_Reem) October 1, 2016