Kareem Abdul-Jabbar urges sponsors to drop Kyrie Irving for promoting Alex Jones
NBA legend and U.S. cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

Basketball legend and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is stepping up the heat on controversial Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving with a call for Irving’s sponsors to cancel their deals with him.

Irving, noted for his anti-vax stance that caused him to miss more than two-thirds of his team’ games last year, provoked another round of outrage earlier this month on Twitter. He took to Instagram on September 15 to share a 2002 video from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on the subject of the New World Order.

Abdul-Jabbar previously assailed Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated as a “reckless choice..destructive to the country and especially the Black community where he would be an influential role model.” This time, the NBA great used his website to call for action:

“Irving does not seem to have the capacity to change, but we have the capacity to keep fighting against his brand of destructive behavior. One way to do that, beyond shaking our heads and nasty tweets, is to write to his sponsors and tell them to drop Irving—or you will drop them. Nike has likely decided not to renew his contract past this season. But he is still sponsored by Pepsi and 2K Sports. (Don’t feel bad for Irving: his career earnings at the end of the 2022-’23 season will be $230 million. That buys a lot of Yes-people.)”

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Abdul-Jabbar had this to say about the content of Irving’s latest Instagram foray:

“Alex Jones is one of the most despicable human beings alive and to associate with him means you share his stench.

“Kyrie Irving would be dismissed as a comical buffoon if it weren’t for his influence over young people who look up to athletes. When I look at some of the athletes who have used their status to actually improve society—Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Muhammad Ali, Bill Russel, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, and more—it becomes clear how much Irving has tarnished the reputations of all athletes who strive to be seen as more than dumb jocks.”

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