Michael Jordan’s stand on social issues or politics before today was limited to his famous quote about why he stayed out of the arena, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”
Jordan’s history of inaction made today’s news that he was donating $2 million dollars – $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations – all the more surprising. Jordan issued a statement announcing the donation on The Undefeated today. A spokeswoman for jordan explained his motivation for taking action.
“Michael was tired of just talking. He wanted to do something about the issue. This was very important to him.”
Today in Read Between the Lines, Jason and Colin were asked whether Jordan has been unfairly criticized by the media for his past inaction.
Jason thinks the media criticism of Jordan is entirely fair, and a money donation and carefully crafted statement don’t make up for his 30 year record of inaction on significant social and political issues.
“It’s all orchestrated, I believe he deserves some criticism here, I’m glad he’s cutting the check, but his statement feels inauthentic. It didn’t break or cover any new ground. Look, LeBron and Carmelo Anthony, these guys have already said all this. Just cut the check.”
Colin has always maintained the same criticism of Jordan, he’s a generationally transcendent basketball player, and that’s about it.
“My takeaway is always, he was worshiped for 15 years, and he should have been. And he is now criticized for his post-basketball career, and he should be. He’s been a lowsy exec, not a great owner, hasn’t fulfilled any, what I consider to be, almost moral obligations financially with those in need in his community, and frankly had a petty hall of fame speech.”
It seems harsh to criticize MJ for a $2 million donation to a good cause, but why not just give the money instead of announcing it to bring a PR bump? It’s like waiting to put the dollar in the jar at Starbucks until the barista is looking. Just Do It. (copyright)
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) July 25, 2016