Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reveals past prostate cancer diagnosis, calls out racism in health care
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stressed the importance of Black lives mattering in every aspect of society
NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stunned fans worldwide this week after revealing that he previously battled prostate cancer.
The admission was made in a new essay written for WebMD in which the 73-year-old clarified that he’s sharing his story in hopes that it will inspire Black Americans to prioritize their health, especially during the current social climate.
“I’ve been fortunate because my celebrity has brought me enough financial security to receive excellent medical attention. No one wants an NBA legend dying on their watch. Imagine the Yelp reviews,” he shared playfully, acknowledging that he also benefitted from having two sons who work in the medical field.
“But while I’m grateful for my advantages, I’m acutely aware that many others in the Black community do not have the same options and that it is my responsibility to join with those fighting to change that. Because Black lives are at risk. Serious risk.”
The piece, which is very decidedly a pro-Black call to action, also touched on the issues that adversely impact the emotional and physical well-being of Black Americans such as police brutality that were at the center of the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
“The more insidious and damaging threat to the health, lives, and economic well-being of Black Americans is a health care system that ignores the fact that, though they are most in need of medical services, they actually receive the lowest level,” opined the Lakers star whose dealt with “prostate cancer, leukemia and heart bypass surgery” over the course of his life and believes the inequalities in health care need an urgent solution.
“The future of equity for Black Americans starts with physical and mental health, and as long as they are at the end of the line for services, true equity can’t happen,” he concluded. “Black lives have to matter in every aspect of American society if they are to thrive.”
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