Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Continues National Anthem Protest In Big3 League
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf hasn’t played in the NBA since the 90’s, but they didn’t stop him from continuing his National Anthem protest he started way before Colin Kaepernick was ever thought of.
Twenty years before Colin Kaepernick sat/kneeled during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, Abdul-Rauf, made headlines back in 1996 when he sat during the song, stating then that the American flag was a symbol of oppression and went against his religion of Islam, before working out a compromise with the NBA of praying instead.
Before the start of the first-ever Big3 professional 3-On-3 league, Abdul-Rauf, placed his hands out, palms up, in prayer. Rauf received various death threats back in 1996 and saw his career prematurely in 1998 as most believed back then he was blackballed just as Kaepernick is being blackballed now.
“He’s being black-balled,” said Abdul-Rauf to Daily News. “I’m not surprised. As soon as it happened, I expected it. The same thing happened to me.”
“It’s disturbing to me that it’s easy for teams to take back players that have been physically abusive, brought up on charges,” said Abdul-Rauf. “And (Kaepernick) was speaking his conscience.
“He’s not committed a criminal act but what’s happening to him is criminal.”