Why Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Didn’t Stand for the Anthem

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Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf prays during the national anthem at a March 1996 game in Chicago.  (M. Spencer Green / AP Photo)

On this episode of the Edge of Sports podcast, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf joins the show.

Edge of Sports · Why I did not Stand for the Anthem

In the early 1990s, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had a promising career ahead of him in the NBA as an up-and-coming star. That all changed in 1996 when he refused to stand for the US national anthem and called the US flag a symbol of oppression. The NBA retaliated by suspending him, and Abdul-Rauf spent the next two decades playing exclusively for international leagues.

On this episode of Edge of Sports, Abdul-Rauf looks back on his protest and how engaging the literature of revolutionary icons like Malcolm X influenced his decision. Elsewhere in the episode, Dave Zirin takes aim at Ron DeSantis’s use of sports to stage a political takeover at the New College of Florida, and Dr. Ron Bishop joins the show to discuss how the sports media covers mental health.

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