In the documentary “Stand”, Mahmoud Abdel Raouf wants to leave “something for them to think about” – Andscape

Does the NBA owe Mahmoud Abdel Raouf an apology?

“I do not care a lot about an apology,” Abdel Raouf lately advised Andscape. “That is like the federal government apologizing for 300 years of unpaid labor and never paying taxes for slavery. And these folks don’t need their apologies. Apologies are solely good insofar as they assist them.”

“So many lives have been affected. Cash has been misplaced. Households who might have supported them have been harm because of being delicate.”

Twenty-five years in the past, Abdul Rauf was one of the crucial feared shooters within the NBA.

To place simply how good a shooter Abdul-Rauf is in context, former NBA coach Phil Jackson in contrast Stephen Curry to the NBA’s main three-point shooter in 2016. Solely Curry (. 909) has the best free throw share in NBA historical past (. 1150 makes an attempt no less than) from Abd al-Rauf (905.). Abdul-Raouf posted profession highs of 19.2 factors and 6.8 assists, scored a career-high 51 factors and scored an NBA-best 93% from the free throw line through the 1995-96 season with the Denver Nuggets. That is whereas having Tourette’s syndrome.

However after Muslim induced controversy whereas with the Nuggets when he refused to face for the nationwide anthem and known as the American flag an emblem of oppression that season, he was ultimately knocked out of the NBA inside two years. He was regarded as “black ball”.

Whereas Abdel Raouf’s stance in opposition to the nationwide anthem is well-known, what he could not know is the way it led to poverty, melancholy, unemployment and divorce.

Abdel Raouf talks about all of that stands upa Showtime sports activities documentary that debuted February 3 on Showtime.

“The situations appear very ripe for this type of factor,” Abdel Raouf mentioned of the timing of the documentary. “In some methods, the nice and the unhealthy, as a result of it is also fashionable. And typically when issues get fashionable, they do not hit as laborious. As a result of whether or not it is Nike or different firms, they’ll say, ‘Hey, we are able to monetize this.'” We are able to flip them into T-shirts, and we are able to flip them into this.

“So here is the thread. However I believed the timing was proper. After which, I won’t be round. We by no means know when we’ll be carried out and depart this earth. And I needed to no less than be capable of depart one thing for somebody to carry on to and look again on. And if It could have benefited them, and that’s my hope to depart one thing to profit folks, one thing for them to consider.”

Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdel-Raouf (C) stands in prayer whereas singing the nationwide anthem earlier than a recreation in opposition to the Chicago Bulls on March 15, 1996, on the United Heart in Chicago.


stands up It’s the function directorial debut of Joselyn Rose Lyons. The movie options interviews with Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr, former NBA star and former teammate of Abdel-Raouf at Louisiana State College Shaquille O’Neal, former Nuggets teammate and present basketball analyst Jalen Rose, former LSU coach Dale Brown, and a two-time Oscar winner. Profitable actor Mahershala Ali, rapper, actor and director Ice Dice and lots of extra folks essential to Abdul Rauf.

Lyons mentioned it is essential to indicate “the fires [Abdul-Rauf] He should stroll via.”

“What initially impressed me about Mahmoud’s story was the thought of ​​refusing to introduce him to the game he performed and the braveness he needed to take the resistance his method,” Lyons advised Andscape. “As a substitute, he determined to battle again and use sports activities as a platform to amplify his optimistic messages, and basketball was used as a method to have a look at activism, Tourette’s syndrome, and search extra information about his household, and the religious transformation that happened in Mahmoud’s life.”

Abdel-Raouf mentioned another excuse he feels snug telling his story now could be as a result of he believes it is a “new period” with NBA stars like LeBron James and Chris Paul speaking about social justice. Abdel-Raouf believes he and former NBA guard Craig Hodges didn’t have the identical luxurious once they performed within the Nineteen Nineties. Hodges filed a $40 million lawsuit in 1996 in opposition to the NBA and its groups, claiming he was banned due to his assist of Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan and his criticism of African American athletes who didn’t use their platform and wealth to assist the poor and deprived.

One skilled athlete of this period usually in comparison with Abdel-Raouf was former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt through the nationwide anthem to protest police brutality in 2016. Like Abdel-Raouf, Kaepernick ceased to be an expert athlete quickly after. who gained. Angle. However in contrast to Kaepernick, Abdel Raouf didn’t have a social media platform to get his message throughout instantly in his personal method nor did he have assist from a motion like Black Lives Matter.

“I understood it extra when Dr. Harry Edwards made his assertion, and that is his assertion, not his. He mentioned, Mahmoud, for what Muhammad Ali and others did what they did, and Karim Abdul-Jabbar and all of these. [did what they did]”It was inside the framework of the black energy motion,” mentioned Abdul Raouf, who transformed to Islam in 1991 and altered his identify from Chris Jackson in 1993. When Kaepernick did what he did, he mentioned he was framed below the Black Lives Matter motion. There was a motion that they might body beneath.

He mentioned, “While you and Craig did what I did, there was no motion. It was like being within the ocean by yourself with out a paddle. I mentioned: Wow. He mentioned: Which made it more durable. I mentioned, “Wow, I do not consider it that method…” and it makes a distinction when you consider it. Nevertheless it’s additionally good to see, man, that it doesn’t matter what, you continue to have a variety of athletes keen to say issues and irrespective of how they do it, monetize, or no matter, it is nonetheless form of a stage of danger that it takes. athletes. And it is good to see that they are doing that form of factor.”

Abdul Raouf acknowledged that he had assist from NBA gamers corresponding to O’Neal, Rose, and fellow Nuggets teammate Dimbe Mutombo. Abdel-Raouf additionally believes that the “majority” of gamers within the NBA of African descent don’t assist his place. Abdul Rauf’s ache was the shortage of assist from the Muslim group.

“This was a time once I thought folks might get lively, nevertheless it did not,” Abdul Raouf mentioned. “After which the Islamic group, with every historical past with struggles coping with oppression and injustice, and that the requirements of prophecy in our faith as they knowledgeable us, have been disappointing. I wasn’t shocked although, nevertheless it was disappointing. I would not say I used to be shocked.”

Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdel-Raouf (left) drives a layup lane in opposition to the Los Angeles Clippers in Denver in 1992.

Tim DeFresco/Getty Photographs

On June 13, 1996, the Nuggets traded Rose and stunt man Reggie Williams to the Indiana Pacers for level guard Mark Jackson and ahead Ricky Pierce. Hours later that day, after protesting the nationwide anthem, Abdel-Raouf was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Sarunas Marciulionis and a 1996 second-round draft choose.

Abdul Rauf went from starter to order for the Kings, averaging 11.9 factors and a pair of.3 assists per recreation from 1996-1998. He performed in Turkey through the lockout-shortened NBA season from 1998-1999, and briefly retired through the 1999-99 season. 2000, and averaged 6.5 factors for the Vancouver Grizzlies through the 2000-2001 season. This was his final season within the NBA on the age of 31.

Abdel-Raouf mentioned he now “positively” believes he has been neglected of the NBA.

“I actually walked away as a result of I did not need to be reactionary,” Abdel Raouf mentioned. “And I take into consideration issues and I course of them and I search for patterns. And I do know we have now a system of legal guidelines that do not at all times apply, however we do have a system of legal guidelines. And even they should watch out how they cope with the issue. They cannot come out and say, ‘We’re firing him due to X and Y’ And Z. As a result of now there is a lawsuit and there is thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of {dollars} at stake. So typically what they do is, ‘Okay, let’s decrease his minutes.'”

Abdel Raouf explains within the documentary that life has grow to be very troublesome for him and his household after the top of his skilled basketball profession.

Abdel Raouf was unable to pay for the lights and water and slept within the lavatory with candles to maintain heat. He was unable to proceed to assist relations who relied on his monetary help. Ultimately he acquired a divorce and misplaced his home to foreclosures. The third total choose within the 1990 NBA Draft after two seasons at LSU made $19.8 million in his NBA profession. And not using a faculty diploma, nonetheless, he had no post-basketball plan now that his funds had dried up with no cash left. He believed his transient anti-flag stand prevented him from getting any job in what he knew finest, basketball.

“When that a part of my life is over now, I’ve needed to attempt to refocus and ask myself, ‘Wow, what am I going to do?'” Abdel Raouf mentioned. “And whilst you’re attempting to determine it out, cash retains leaving the desk. You do not generate income anymore and you realize you may nonetheless play. Most of us, after we generate income, do not have wealth for generations. So it is not like we have now a mama with a $250,000 home, she’s retired, she does not want your cash and your cousin does not want your cash and your cousin does not want your cash. We normally maintain lots of people.

And so, considered one of my darkest durations has been understanding that, man, I have been conditioned and fed issues about who I’m or who I am not all these years via a system via language, via photographs, and that in a way advised me the worst about myself for probably the most half. And I believed in him a lot and I felt like that was the one factor I might consider. Now that that is taken from me now I’ve to know what the hell I’ve to do to have the ability to maintain my household. However I can not get a job as a result of somebody is so delicate to what I mentioned, It is true, it wasn’t flawed. It was true. They’re very delicate and need to take away my livelihood.”

Mahmoud Abdel Raouf (left) and Galen Rose (proper). stands up.

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Abdul Rauf mentioned he prayed “Please God get me out of this. Please bless me to be robust, bless me to reside this. Do not let my enemies get the higher hand with me.” Regardless of being “lifeless penniless,” he continued to work out within the basketball corridor to assist his thoughts and physique. Retired NBA gamers are eligible to begin receiving the pension at age 45. When he turned 45 in 2014, Abdel-Raouf mentioned, he started receiving his pension, which paid him $7,200 monthly and offered particular person participant medical health insurance with 9 gamers. years of expertise. With yet another season of expertise within the NBA, he would have had a full pension and free medical health insurance for himself and his household.

Whereas dwelling in Atlanta, he started getting cash in recent times educating basketball to youngsters. This ultimately led to teaching NBA gamers. He needed to study what to cost prospects. He additionally began getting paid for talking engagements after his phrases from a panel went viral. He needed to learn to cost for talking. He began taking part in basketball once more in 2017 with the arrival of the Ice Dice’s 3-on-3 league made primarily of former NBA gamers known as the Big3.

Will Abdel Raouf stay in the identical place if he can repeat it once more?


With the posh of hindsight, in fact, it is easy to say, ‘Man, I would wish to have a community. to the place it is like what Kaepernick did proudly owning a file Know your rights marketing campaignAbdel Raouf mentioned. “To have the ability to do that and to do this, it takes, like something you need, to achieve success. Prophets, they’ve disciples. Corporations have groups. So having a fantastic staff makes a distinction.”

“However so far as holding workplace, no, I nonetheless maintain that place. As a result of I have never modified, I have never stopped holding any place in any case these years. However I definitely would have carried out a few of these issues very otherwise.”

Mark J. Spears is Andscape’s Senior NBA Author. He used to have the ability to dunk on you, however he hasn’t been capable of in years and his knees nonetheless harm.

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