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.

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.

“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.

“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.”

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