Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Visits Hancher


LH Staff

Art by Estie Dillard.

Badra Kalil and Victor Kalil

One of the NBA’s most celebrated stars, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, visited Hancher Auditorium on March 25th to talk about activism in sports. The event was in collaboration with the University Lecture Committee, and was led by the University of Iowa’s Vice President of Student Life, Dr. Melissa Shivers, who asked Abdul-Jabbar questions from herself and the audience.

Abdul-Jabbar was an activist himself. In 1968, he boycotted the Olympics in protest of treatment of African-Americans. Now, he believes being an activist is integral for everybody.

“In order to justify the wonderful times that we have here, we have to do some good things,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “Activism doesn’t pay very well but it makes you feel good and it improves your community. It’s an absolutely essential part of being a citizen no matter where you are.”

Along with talking about his history, Abdul-Jabbar gave a piece of advice to all in the room.

“Make friends that don’t look like you.” said Abdul-Jabbar. “Make friends that look a lot different and think a lot differently than you.”

At the end of the Q&A session, he was given a the “Distinguished Lecture” award to acknowledge that Abdul-Jabbar was the most important change-making speaker of 2018.