Oppressive View of Women Came with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Islam Conversion

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Lew Alcindor in New York City on April 16, 1947. In 1971, at the age of 24, while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, he converted to Islam and changed his name to one that means “the noble one, servant of the Almighty.” There was, however, an ugly side to Jabbar’s conversion to Islam — a troubling and oppressive attitude towards women.

81505467DM002_CALIFORMIA_PRAccording to actress Pam Grier’s 2010 autobiography, “Foxy: My Life In Three Acts,” she and Jabbar shared a passionate and serious relationship during the process of his religious conversion. Marriage was on the table. She had already met his parents, and their mutual destinies had launched.

Both were young. He was already a leading NBA scorer and had been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. She was 22, impossibly gorgeous, and on the cusp of launching an acting career that would eventually lead to her earning her own status as a legend.

The relationship abruptly changed when Lew asked her to start calling him Kareem. He had begun a conversion to what would become a lifelong commitment to Islam. Immediately, he demanded she stop working. “A conservative man at heart who was getting more so by the day,” Grier writes, “he didn’t want to see his girlfriend working.”

At the time Grier was working as a dancer in a nightclub. The type of work she was doing wasn’t the only issue. He did not want her working at all, and he also wanted her to convert to Islam…

  • Everyone Else

    What’s a “dancer in a nightclub” circa 1971?

    • Martin B

      Something unislamic, that’s for certain.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      If not a stripper outright, then most likely a topless dancer.
      Other than this story, this is the first I heard she was any kind of a “dancer”.

    • Waffle
      • Everyone Else

        If anyone wants to study the lady in question and draw their own conclusions, here’s the homework.

        • Everyone Else

          Here’s what I think.

          Lew Alcindor grew up as a geeky freak who spent all his time in the gym.

          Then, with that ugly-ass skyhook he invented, he started rolling in dough.

          Like every other athlete who makes it, he looked around for how to spend some of that excess cash. Like many geniuses before, he stumbled on the wonders of paid professional sex.

          However two things were biting Lew in the ass. One, he got a favorite hooker and then began to get jealous, or wanted to “save her soul” as he might have explained it to himself. Two (or rather two & three), he succumbed to the mysterious allure of the weaker gender for the natural C cup. (Every time some politician or other big shot destroys his career by philandering there’s a pair of natural Cs involved. Hello … Monica?)

          While Lew was stumbling through this well-worn scenario, he also stumbled on the Autobiography of Malcom X (written by Alex Haley). What with X on his right hand and the Cs on his left, Lew tried to square the circle.

          He failed of course, and everyone went their own way. Lew became Kareem, Haley wrote Superfly T.N.T., and Pam continued living off those Cs in a series of boobsploitation films.

          I don’t buy that “dancer” euphemism for a second. Go Go dancing went kaput with the sixties, plus people who meet shady always present a slightly less shady view to those who ask, “So how’d you two meet?”

    • Waffle
  • Martin B

    “He also told her she would be required to be chaperoned and wear a headscarf”

    Kudos to Pam for escaping the clutches of this pig and the Religion of Peace.

  • c w

    Kareem did an interview in the late 70’s with Sports Illustrated where he fully denied the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. He happily spewed hate against Christians and he has moved along. The only good thing I can say about it, is that upon Judgement Day, he be in fo’ a big soooprize!

  • Gary

    But the real crisis is that gays can’t have Pizza after the wedding.