For any kid who grew up playing basketball, Michael Jordan is already a hero. We also know he rarely chimes in on social issues in the media and hasn’t made many public appearances. Which is why it was surprising when he just announced two $1 million gifts, one to each ‘side’ of the racial/political debate.
As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.
I’m glad he’s taking action – and I’m also glad he’s doing it publicly. Lending his name AND resources.
I fear, though, that it may be to little to late for HIM. Meaning – there’s a demographic that knows and respect him as a public figure and may be encouraged to act or even pause to be more thoughtful about these issues. I’m not trying to demean his gift – I just wish he was more outspoken earlier.
Consider Muhammed Ali – who was vocal about timely issues at the peak of his career. Granted – his ‘peak’ extended well past his professional career.
Now, if Lebron James, Taylor Swift, Kardashians and the Nintendo folks behind Pokemon Go – all got together to make a big gift/announcement – it would likely inspire more.
What do you think? Will this gift help? Are you or others reacting to these national issues with philanthropy and giving? Action? Waiting to use your vote? Just posting to Facebook?
Let me know in the comments…