Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Blasts Will Smith for Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went after Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. The NBA legend recently wrote a blog post on the incident and said the slap "did a lot more damage than just to Rock's face." Abdul-Jabbar believes that Smith "advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community."
"The Smiths could have reacted by politely laughing along with the joke or by glowering angrily at Rock," Abdul-Jabbar wrote. "Instead, Smith felt the need to get up in front of his industry peers and millions of people around the world, hit another man, then return to his seat to bellow: 'Keep my wife's name out of your f—ing mouth.' Twice."
Smith slapped Rock after he joke about Jada Pinkett Smith having a shaved head. Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 she suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss. Abdul-Jabbar understands why the Smiths wouldn't think the joke would be funny, but "Hollywood awards shows are traditionally a venue where much worse things have been said about celebrities as a means of downplaying the fact that it's basically a gathering of multimillionaires giving each other awards to boost business so they can make even more money." Abdul-Jabbar realized some celebrities, including Tiffany Haddish supported Smith's actions as they believe he was standing up for his wife. But the Basketball Hall of Famer explains why the slap to Rock was also a "slap to women."
"By hitting Rock, he announced that his wife was incapable of defending herself—against words," Abdul-Jabbar said. "From everything I'd seen of Pinkett Smith over the years, she's a very capable, tough, smart woman who can single-handedly take on a lame joke at the Academy Awards show." Abdul-Jabbar also explained why the slap was hit towards the Black Community.
"One of the main talking points from those supporting the systemic racism in America is characterizing Blacks as more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions," Abdul-Jabbar stated. "Smith just gave comfort to the enemy by providing them with the perfect optics they were dreaming of. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro wasted no time going full-metal jacket racist by declaring the Oscars are "not the hood." What would she have said if Brad Pitt slapped Ricky Gervais? This isn't Rodeo Drive?" Smith slapped Rock about 45 minutes before he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the film King Richard.