Michael Jordan offered some comments of his own about race, in a biographic book, Michael Jordan: The Life, released Tuesday.
Michael Jordan: The Life is a biography of the former NBA star written by Roland Lazenby.
In the book, Michael Jordan explains how growing up in an area of North Carolina heavily influenced by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s and ’70s shaped his views on race and they were far from what would be viewed as politically correct.
Reportedly, these views really took shape shortly after Michael Jordan watched the iconic television miniseries Roots, and after a girl at his school called him the N-word in 1977.
“So I threw a soda at her,” Michael Jordan says in the book.
“I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people.”
The book also includes anecdotes of Michael Jordan’s time on the school baseball team, when he was one of only two black players and was called inferior while on the team.
In many ways, the book serves as a testament to Michael Jordan’s drive, which many people close to him believe was fueled by negative experiences, particularly in his early life.
Michael Jordan was among the first NBA owners and high-profile figures in the sport to go on record against Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s comments when they were first released, issuing this statement: “I look at this from two different perspectives — as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that (NBA commissioner) 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.”
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