After initially remaining quiet when asked about Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments, Michael Jordan decided to release a statement addressing the issue on Sunday. The Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner did not hold back.
“I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and as a former player,” Jordan wrote. “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.
As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
Plenty of high-profile athletes, former athletes and politicians (like president Barack Obama) have already spoken out about Sterling. The pressure is on for him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers and erase his connection to the NBA, but MJ’s comments are interesting because they were so out of character.
Jordan rarely ever comments on political controversy. He knows he has made much of his fortune through his brand. When Jordan refused to endorse Harvey Gantt as he was trying to become the first black man elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, he explained his stance by famously saying “Republicans buy shoes, too.” That should tell you all you need to know.