Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had some choice words for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, escalating the war of words between the two men, the Big Lead is reporting.
The whole kerfuffle between Trump and Kareem began on Wednesday, when Abdul-Jabbar wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. The 68-year-old former basketball great, who writes regularly about political, social, and religious issues for various publications, took issue with Trump’s habit of attacking and bullying reporters, saying that such behavior infringes upon those journalists’ First Amendment rights. To make his point, Kareem pointed out vicious attacks by Trump against Fox News‘ Megyn Kelly, insinuating that her menstrual cycle may have played a role in her questioning of him during the GOP debate; Univision reporter Jorge Ramos, ejecting him from a press conference for asking pointed questions about immigration; and the Des Moines Register, removing the paper’s credentials for an Iowa campaign event after the paper called on Trump to withdraw from the race.
“Other journalists he thinks have treated him harshly he refers to as “losers” or unintelligent, as if the definition of lack of intelligence is to not agree with him. Attempting to bully the press to silence criticism of him is anti-American.”
Trump responded to Kareem’s criticism in Trump-like fashion, posting an image on Facebook that included Abdul-Jabbar’s piece along with a handwritten message scrawled over it.
— Alan Peppard (@AlanPeppard) September 2, 2015
Abdul-Jabbar appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on Thursday to talk about Trump’s latest salvo in their ongoing verbal war. He started by reminding viewers that in his (Abdul-Jabbar’s) belief, Trump’s antics fly in the face of the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment is such an essential part of what our democracy is about, and when you attack journalists to stifle criticism, you’re really stifling the public discourse. The fact that we can engage in some critical analysis of what someone says and ask them questions — that makes our democracy work.”
Kareem then went on to accuse Trump of resorting to resorting to feel-good and shocking rhetoric, rather than honest political rhetoric, in order attract voters.
“Political campaigns are about style and substance. Mr. Trump’s style is very attractive — the reason that he’s able to get all this attention and have the following that he does is because he says things in a way that inspires people or makes them feel good, but pretty soon there’s gonna have to be some substance.”
Do you agree with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism of Donald Trump?