PunditFact checks claim on ghosts and racism

St. Petersburg, Florida - As the controversy surrounding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling continues, people from singers to basketball stars are becoming pundits to talk about "race relations."

10 News anchor Allison Kropff teams up with PunditFact to check a claim by a former NBA star concerning race and ghosts!

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared on ABC's This week to talk about the controversy surrounding Sterling. He worked under him for three months as a Clippers coach. Abdul-Jabbar said racism is still part of American culture and compared it to whites' attitudes on ghosts.

Here's what he said:

"This is a problem. I did a little bit of research. More whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism," he said. "That's why we have shows like Ghostbusters and don't have shows like Racistbusters."

That certainly caught the ears of fact-checkers who decided to dig into the details. They talked to reputable pollsters like Gallup and PEW Research and found there's a lot of polling on ghosts.

"We found white people believe in ghosts anywhere from 35%, 36% to 62%. So it's a really wide range and kind of hard to pin on one. You can kind of choose what you want," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

Polling on racism is more difficult to find. Pollsters say they don't usually ask if someone believes in racism.

"People are likely to say no, even though they might have some racist tendencies or are racist," says Sanders.

PunditFact says it's really an imperfect comparison.

"If you were to get the result he wanted, you'd be cherry picking the polls out there at best," says Sanders.

Because Abdul-Jabbar makes a shaky comparison between the two, PunditFact rates his claim, MOSTLY FALSE.

PunditFact tried to contact Jabbar through Twitter and ABC's media team, but didn't hear back.


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