Former basketball great Walt Hazzard, aka Mahdi AbdurRahman passed away this month. What’s significant and damnable at the same time is this part of his obituary that has spread throughout printed media
Hazzard is survived by wife Jaleesa, a Bruins song girl during the 1964 NCAA title season, and sons Yakub, Jalal, Khalil and Rasheed. During his NBA career, Hazzard converted to Islam and changed his name to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman. He felt the change was poorly received and cost him professional opportunities so he returned to using his given name professionally while remaining a devout Muslim.
Even in this day and age, where we proclaim our greatness as a Nation, people have their rights as American citizens infringed on solely because of their faith or race. With the world becoming more populated and hence smaller the exclusion of any segment of the law abiding citizenry of this country in the political, cultural, intellectual life of America is simply not acceptable!