You know how the protests by athletes over President Trump’s remarks and what they feel is racial inequality is without a doubt a big deal? When noted “stick to sports” guy Michael Jordan actually takes the time to state his definitive opinion on it.
Jordan has often been criticized in the past for not taking a stance politically, even going as far back as 1992 when he was asked to speak out on the beating of Rodney King and replied, “Naturally when things like [the riot] happen and I`m asked to comment on it, people tend to expect me to do more, be more opinionated, more vocal. The cry now from Jim Brown is to be more vocal. But they make it sound like Magic Johnson and myself are the only wealthy black people in America. Where are the Eddie Murphys? Where are the Arsenio Halls? Where are the Bill Cosbys, these type of people?”
This criticism has even extended into 2016 when the NBA was threatening to pull the All-Star Game out of Charlotte due to North Carolina’s anti-transgender bathroom law and Jordan released a statement many criticized as weak.
So, for MJ to actually speak out, with a definitive opinion on something political, it’s not only rare, it also must mean that he’s reached a point on the topic where he finally can’t stand idly by and just let others do the talking.
Jordan released the following statement to the Charlotte Observer on Sunday night…
“One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent, peaceful protest. Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized.”
“At a time of increasing divisiveness and hate in this country, we should be looking for ways to work together and support each other and not create more division.”
“I support Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.”
Apparently Jordan, who donated $2 million to help address police-related shootings in 2016, is following through on what he said back then…
“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.”
MJ is definitely no longer “being silent” and neither are many other significant names in the world of sports…