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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s lesson to Howard students on education needs a special focus on money

(Washington Post)
When basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar met recently with the Howard University basketball team, he emphasized the importance of education as much as the skills needed to play the game.
“Whatever you guys do in college, get your degree and get great jobs where you have authority and decision-making ability,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I hope that’s one of the reasons you are here at Howard. Pursue your education and come back to your communities and make them better places.”
It was, as some might say, a politically correct message. But you have to figure that the students had heard it a million times. Better if Abdul-Jabbar had broached a subject that is just as important, though far more sensitive: money.
Before asking college students to give something back to their communities, he might ask that more of his fellow ballplayers give more of their millions to communities of color.
This is not to say that athletes, black athletes in particular, don’t donate. But they could be doing so much more. Most of their efforts involve charitable contributions, not self-sustaining community development projects. With Earvin “Magic” Johnson as a notable exception, these donations do little to provide housing and jobs.
Nothing wrong with providing “at-risk” black kids with tutors and scholarships, as many athletes do. But as an investigation of 115 athlete charities by ESPN in 2013 found, about 74 percent of them spent more money on administrative cost than on services or lacked the appropriate oversight.

 Learn more at Washington Post

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