Opinion: The Jordan Effect

michael jordan

In light of a recent statement that basketball legend Michael Jordan made on Tuesday, many supporters and critics have responded to Jordan “finally” speaking out on racial issues.

I for one have mixed feelings about Jordan speaking out and yes I echo the sentiments of “finally” as well. However, I don’t feel it’s a huge deal while it is a big deal for others.

We have all been shaken up by the constant shootings and killings of unarmed black men in America in addition to the shootings of public servants.

Jordan released a statement that resonated with some while causing others to roll their eyes.

“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions in order to 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 a;;-are respected and supported.”

However, there seems to be a far more disturbing sentiment echoed that plays deeper than someone who is the face of a huge brand speaking out against racial injustice in America.

I’ve read some of the comments by supporters, but more so by non-supporters.





Today I spoke to a friend who expressed his frustrations about black people complaining about MJ’s statements. While I understand the potential frustration, I disagree with it. He said he is tired of blacks “asking for handouts” and placing expectations upon public figures when they are not “obligated” to give back or speak out.

I can agree that people should be able to spend their money how they want and people have a choice to speak on certain things. However, when you choose a public platform and the majority of your consumers are BLACK I think there is some level of obligation.

Statistics show that blacks are the number one consumers in America, according to Nielson Ratings. It’s not hard to believe since our dollars last only 5 minutes within our communities.

With knowing this information that has been proven hundreds of times, I find Mr. Jordan’s statement to be long overdue yet an attempt to save face with his consumers.

Obviously, people of all backgrounds purchase Michael Jordan sneakers, but we can admit that it is blacks who consume the most, yet dying at the same time.

I also find certain parts of his statement to be pushing more for one side than the other.

“I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hand of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers.”-Michael Jordan

I am confused. Mr. Jordan is “TROUBLED” by the deaths of UNARMED black men and black men who have been honest with police that they are certified to carry and still get shot? But calls the “TARGETING” of police officers as “cowardly” and “hateful”? Are not the countless shootings and killings of unarmed black men COWARDLY and HATEFUL?

Last time I checked, targeting someone for just wearing a hoodie and carrying skittles is cowardly. Shooting a 12-year-old down in the park for having a toy “BB” gun is cowardly. Simply just shooting someone  because of their skin is hateful. Arresting a young African-American teacher and throwing her to the ground for a minor traffic stop, then telling her whites fear blacks because of “violent” tendencies is HATEFUL and Cowardly.

If Jordan wants to speak out against TRUE inequality he needs to call a spade a spade and stop tap-dancing for the very people who are targeting people who look like him.

In addition, his comments continued to “pacify” those who constantly target black men.

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family,” Jordan wrote. “I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service.”

Really Mr. Jordan? I think we all realize the magnitude of risks our police officers take on a daily basis. What about accountability? Holding the “crooked” cops responsible for their unwarranted shootings of minorities?

People are praising Jordan for his donations. Unless I read it wrong, his donations are going toward the support of police officers whom he is trusting to make better decisions when it comes to handling responses within minority communities.

Where is your support for black businesses? Where is your support for Black Institutions?

Unfortunately, I don’t have sufficient record of Jordans’ continued support for people who look like him.

Is he obligated to speak out in support of the black community, who has been oppressed for centuries?  People who support him and die in the process?

In my personal opinion, yes. Mr. Jordan and other high-profile figures do “OWE” the black community by at least giving a  [genuine] damn.





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