I’ve always been a huge fan of Michael Jordan. I consider him the greatest basketball player of all time, and have always respected his accomplishments. However, although I’ve always appreciated and admired Air Jordans, I’ve never actually owned any. I could never bring myself to spend the ridiculous amount of money that they cost (these days, that appears to be at least $200 or more) for shoes that cost less than $5 to make in Asia. As a kid, Jordans were always “out of the question” with my parents because they were always so expensive. Nevertheless, each time a new release (or an old release is brought back as a “vintage” edition) comes out, there are hundreds of people who wait for hours across the country for a pair. In society, we should not be so obsessed with meaningless “brands,” especially when those companies often do not contribute to our communities or support our causes. A difficult thing about being successful is that in some cases (particularly for those in the limelight, like athletes) you’re forced into a position where people expect you to be a role model. Much is expected of you, and in some cases may be unrealistic. Some athletes are publicly doing many things in their home communities (Jalen Rose, Magic Johnson, LeBron James to name a few); others were visible civil rights activists (Muhammed Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos for example) while others quietly make their contributions under the radar. Michael Jordan appears to have always been a “private” person, whose community contributions have not been publicized much in the limelight. The downside to not being a visible contributor to your community is you will have people criticize you for not doing anything for others (when you may well have done plenty). While it is not clear if Jordan makes contributions that directly benefit minorities, he has supported a considerable number of causes including:
While I would not go as far as to say that Michael Jordan “hates black people” as the title of this video suggests, the video does present some good points that should be considered as “food for thought.”
What do you think?