Michael Jordan believes that athletes who “exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized.”
The current owner of the Charlotte Hornets and arguably the greatest basketball player of all time was asked about President Trump taking back the invitation to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, said to 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.
“At a time of increasing divisiveness and hate in this country, we should be looking for ways to work together and support each other and not create more division.
“I support Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.”
This past Friday, Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors was on ESPN and he said that the team was going to have a vote as to whether or not they would visit the White House to celebrate their championship. Curry said that it was not just about him, but about the team, though he was going to vote for them not to go.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump, responded to Curry’s interview with, what else? A Tweet of course, rescinding the team’s invitation:
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
But the issue didn't end there. At a Saturday morning rally in Alabama, the President addressed the issue of NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem – saying that it is disrespectful to the flag and that it would be great to see an NFL owner say “'Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now. Out, he's fired. Fired!’”
He went on to say that there will be some owner that does just that, and that many of the team owners are friends of his, and that when they do fire a player for taking a knee “they’ll be the most popular person for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in the country.”
Well, NFL players did not take kindly to those comments and this lead to major knee-taking throughout all of the Sunday games throughout the league—with some team owners also joining in on the peaceful protest showing their support for their team.
Michael Jordan's comments might come as a little bit of a surprise to some. As a prominent figure for decades now, we haven't seen Jordan express political views publicly given especially since that could hurt his brand or the sales of his shoes.
First and foremost, Jordan is a businessman, in fact, of the quotes most synonymous with His Airness is, "Republicans buy sneakers, too."