LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been a social and political activist throughout his career.

And in a powerful op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, he defended the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

READ MORE: Republican Gubernatorial Hopefuls Take Debate Stage Wednesday Night

For complete coverage of the situation in Minneapolis visit CBSMinnesota.com and stream CBSN Minnesota

On Monday, Abdul-Jabbar spoke with CBS This Morning.

“Nothing has changed since what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop of Rodney King,” he said. “That was 30 years ago, and still nothing has changed.

READ MORE: Suspected Corona Movie Theater Shooter, Joseph Jimenez, Reportedly Confesses

“White cops still can act with impunity and kill people that they feel like they want to kill. It’s got to stop some place.”

In that op-ed, Abdul-Jabbar wrote, in part:

“I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air.

MORE NEWS: No Apology From Department After 5-Year-Old Boy Bitten By South Pasadena Police K9 Tuesday At National Night Out Event

“It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.”