Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on “The O’Reilly Factor” tonight to discuss the Donald Sterling race controversy.

Abdul-Jabbar, who worked for Sterling, said he had no idea that the LA Clippers owner was a racist.

Bill O’Reilly asked Abdul-Jabbar if he agrees with New York Times sportswriter William Rhoden, who believes that black NBA players should stop calling each other the “N word.”

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“I would have to agree with that,” he said. “People who don’t understand what we fought for in this country during the Civil Rights movement think that they can clean that word up. I don’t think it can ever be cleaned up, and I think that black Americans should avoid using it in the context, especially of what you’re referring to.”

Abdul-Jabbar said that, overall, he feels that he and his family have been treated fairly in the United States, calling it the greatest country in the world because we are constantly trying to make it a better nation.

“Being a black American sometimes means that you have to deal with some things that you shouldn’t, but I don’t think there’s any ethnic group in this country that hasn’t had a similar experience,” he said.

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O’Reilly asked the NBA star if he can forgive Sterling.

“Yeah, but he hasn’t asked for any forgiveness, he seems pretty secure in his attitude, and again, that’s part of the problem,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

Watch the full interview above.