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Michael Jordan speaks, but continues to hide behind his logo


July 25, 2016

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This has nothing to do with Michael Jordan the basketball player but everything to do with Jordan the man, and business person.

Jordan has stated that he will donate $1M each to two different organizations, The International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the wake of the civilians and police officers killings.

These are great moves by Jordan, and I applaud them, but where have you been?

I understand the police have been great to him and his family over the years and to be honest it was because of what you are and not who you are. Many will not agree with me, but that’s another issue. My problem with Jordan’s statement is, instead of giving that money to those organizations, look to build those communities up.

What you are doing is no different from an absentee parent who sends money but not time. The African-American community has waited years for Jordan to make a statement about our neighborhoods. And I get that one man can’t make a difference, but this is Jordan we are talking about. This is the same man who grown men get giddy over if they’re in his presence, the same man that people take off work or sleep in the streets just to be the first to get his latest shoe.

Therein lies my real issue with Jordan. He wants to talk community but he is also hurting the community. It’s no secret that the black community is the highest percentage of Jordan owners in America but yet you can’t tell me Jordan has no clue how many in the community can afford his shoes.

Jordan’s range from $125-$300, but for him to sit here like he has no clue of where the money comes from to purchase his shoes just shows who he really is. I remember when Stephon Marbury came out with his line, “Starbury” and they were the joke in the hood but Marbury IS from the hood and understood what goes on.

He didn’t wish to have those problems on his conscience, which caused him to sell his sneaker for $15. While everyone laughed, they never looked at the bigger picture. He was a man who grew up where we did, ran the same streets and ate out of the same Bodega’s as us and knew the struggle. He knew that kids would want his shoes and knew that parents would be forced to work overtime, spending time away from their families just to please their children to buy a pair of $100 sneakers just because a basketball player endorsed them.

This is where Jordan failed the community.

He had his chance years ago and has it now to make a change. Instead of making a stand for violence make one against Corporate America as well and the sweat shops who make your shoes only for you to sell them at an outrageous price. Jordan is no fool; he knows that his footwear is being purchased with all kinds of illegal money but why should he care, his bank account is large.

And I get the argument that will be made against me, but those execs over at Nike had to do a demographic study to see where the highest amount of shoes are being sold. A study was done in 2015, there are over 1,200 sneaker-related deaths per year, over sneakers. One of the main reasons schools have gone to a uniform policy and while that hasn’t resolved the issue it was a start.

I know he has done silent contributions over the years for various causes, but he is one of the people who cannot afford to be silent. Maybe someone got in his ear and told him it’s time, time to come from the shadows and be a voice, a voice we need, and not just his community but for the officers that have lost their lives as well. It was a remarkable statement by Jordan, and it’s never too late to be the face of a movement but in his case, this should be the beginning.

Stars are in support of Jordan and are thrilled he has finally spoken about dire situations, but much like Jordan, the basketball player, he is busy worrying about what drives him than being concerned about what drives others. I hope the money he donates goes towards proper training but another $1 for legal funding?

What exactly are you saying with this?

What Jordan can do is bring the Nike plant over here and place them within the community and offer jobs to the same people out here hustling and killing to buy the same shoes they brought 15 years ago. Those Jordan’s are nothing new, why you think they’re called Retro’s? Jordan is making a nice living off his name, the sweat of others but as soon as he makes a statement “I can no longer stay silent” everyone loses their damn minds.

Does he have a God complex?

We made him like this; it’s our fault, but now we must demand more from him, demand that he becomes a voice. I don’t believe that he can stop all violence, but people will listen, and that’s all we can ask for. I mean hell, he made this statement and looked what happened.

Some may read this and get the two confused. We know the basketball player, not the man.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com