In my posts on Megyn Kelly, I probably should have noted that one reason that Kelly might have felt emboldened to advocate racism to 2.4 million viewers is because she was hired as a racist. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not miss this point:
NBC might have sent her a mixed message when hiring her. Kelly made consistently racist statements while at Fox News, so when NBC hired her in 2017, its executives were saying: We’re rewarding your racism on Fox by paying you $69 million over three years. Then when she does the same thing that got her that mega-payday, NBC suddenly expresses socially conscious outrage. Not quite racist, but racist-adjacent.
I understand why Abdul-Jabbar might be less willing to simply call NBC racist than I am – part of that is based on our somewhat different definitions of racism – but while I was busy talking about whether or not NBC, post facto, was actually holding Kelly accountable for her racism and not punishing her for her anti-sexism (as limited as that might be), Abdul-Jabbar nailed the importance of NBC pre-blackface debacle behavior.