(CNN)NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he was disappointed with the "mean-spirited effort" of the travel ban.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on travel ban: It's a mean-spirited effort
"I understand how increased and more efficient vetting is going to protect us, no problem with that," Abdul-Jabbar said.
Speaking at "The Messy Truth," a town hall series hosted by CNN commentator Van Jones, Abdul-Jabbar, a Muslim-American said the ban is trying to "market in fear."
"To pick one group and to say that they are the problem -- it's a lie," he said. "Making people afraid is not going to do anything to make our country better."
Jones asked the Hall of Fame player why he converted to Islam.
"Some people are afraid of Muslims, what do you say to them about your faith?" Jones asked, to which Abdul-Jabbar replied, "Our faith is based on the same Judeo-Christian tradition as Christianity or Judaism. ... People don't know that we have basically the same laws and understanding of what's important. The crazy people in the Middle East that are cowards and murders. They don't represent Islam."