Michael Jordan (this will blow your mind)

Derek S. derektheredrebel at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 7 09:54:32 MST 2002

Michael Jordan, possibly the most recognizable person
on the planet, has long been the epitome of the
corporate sponsorship of famous athletes, used to sell
their products (lord knows how many millions of pairs
of $150 "Air Jordans" have been sold). He has been the
posterboy for Nike, McDonalds, Haines, and many more.
He has been criticized for his alliance with Nike, and
thus his silent support of the sweatshop labor which
makes the shoes which carry his namesake. When asked
why he didn't speak out against the Republicans, he
replied: "Republicans buy Nikes' to".

With all this, the story below comes as a huge,
pleasant surprise. I've seen it in several sources,
and I assume it's true, although I'm sure the
bourgeois media would be hard-pressed to mention it.
But, I've seen him wearing his black armband of
resistance in his games this year.



Michael Jordan wears armband to "support the worldwide
Posted at 10:13 PM EST By Sue Doughnem

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan, who recently
announced that he will return for a second season with
the Washington Wizards, has decided to display
solidarity with a variety of causes by wearing a black
armband during games. After discussing his new season
with the Wizards at a press conference, Jordan was
asked about the significance of the black armband he
had been spotted wearing. "It's in the tradition of
silent but visible protest," Jordan said, "like the
Tinker kids, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos." Jordan
was referring to the famous Tinker v. Des Moines
free-speech case in which two high school students won
the right to wear black armbands in school as a
protest against the Vietnam war, as well as the two
black US athletes who gave the Black Power salute
during the 1968 Olympics. When pressed by reporters to
explain what the armband represented, Jordan
continued: "Well, a variety of things, actually.
Number one, I'd like to express some solidarity with
the people protesting against the IMF and World Bank.
I mean, read the stories in the paper -- they all talk
about what the protesters are doing, and not why
they're protesting. So I thought I could draw some
attention to that." Jordan went on to say that he
supported the Palestinian struggle and was firmly
against what he called "US imperialist antics" in the
Middle East. "What are we doing there? Come on, y'all.
Oil. Oil, and old scores to settle. That's it!" Jordan
said. However, it was Jordan's scathing words for his
employer, Nike, which were most surprising. His voice
rose and he counted his reasons on his fingers as he
spoke. "You know, most of all, I feel bad for dealing
with Nike, for so many reasons. It bothers me that
they are still using child labor. It bothers me that
they have inundated the Third World with billboards
advertising their high priced shoes made for pennies
by little kids. And I'm talking about the Third World
in the US, in the inner city, as well as in Asia and
South America, you know?" Jordan also said that he
felt some responsibility for speaking out since he had
been employed as a Nike spokesperson for so long. When
asked what would happen with his current Nike contract
as well as his millions of dollars in assets from Nike
endorsements, Jordan paused and rubbed his head before
replying. "I'm not sure yet. I've been thinking about
setting up a foundation or fund that would grant this
money to nonprofits and other grassroots groups
fighting hard on these issues. Something's gotta be
done with all this money, that's for sure. I want to
support the worldwide resistance." Nike spokesperson
Maria Eitel said in a faxed press statement that the
company was "sorry to see Michael turn his back on our
lucrative partnership." The company denied using
children in their factories or tolerating sweatshop
conditions despite recent reports by groups like
Global Exchange citing Nike for low standards and
labor violations. Myrna Shinbaum, public relations
director for the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said
that Jordan was "obviously anti-Semitic" and vowed
that any celebrity who came out in support of the
Palestinian cause would be "utterly closed off from
public life forever." Jordan later said that he was
sorry for upsetting people, but that he felt obligated
to "finally follow my conscience instead of the
almighty dollar." He strongly urged all other
Americans to do the same. RTMark Press Services and
Thermic Inc. contributed to this story.

Source: http://indymedia.no/news/2002/09/2745.php

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