Michael Jordan spent most of his career silent on social issues, preferring to seek influence through affluence — a goal he achieved mightily. Jordan’s wealth has given him a platform perhaps even larger than what his fame as the NBA’s GOAT (greatest of all time) gave him. Now a purported billionaire and the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan is often on the other side of certain issues from the NBA players — say, when it comes to the collective bargaining agreement. But Jordan is a “player’s owner.” He didn’t make his money in supermarkets or tech — it all derives from basketball (and basketball shoes, of course). Lately, Jordan has been speaking out more. And now that things are getting truly nasty with the president of the United States calling out NBA players like Steph Curry by name, Jordan is coming to the defense of players — and their rights.
Jordan told the Charlotte Observer: “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.” Jordan hardly had to go out on a limb to pick a side — after all even NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it plain where the league stands on players’ rights. Jordan said: “I support Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.”