NBA icon and businessman extraordinaire Michael Jordan (pictured) has admitted to being a racist when he was a teenager and the shocking confession comes from a newly released book, “Michael Jordan: The Life,” by Ronald Lazenby. The book chronicles Jordan’s life from his boyhood days to his dominant reign as a superstar sports figure, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Jordan, a North Carolinian, grew up during a time when the White supremacist hate group the Ku Klux Klan were still making their presence known, especially in the South. “As I started looking at newspapers back in this era when I was putting together Dawson Jordan’s [Michael’s great-grandfather] life, the Klan was like a chamber of commerce. It bought the uniforms for ball teams, it put Bibles in all the schools. It may well have ended up being a chamber of commerce if not for all the violence it was perpetrating too,” Lazenby said. “A lot of the context just wasn’t possible to put it in a basketball book. A lot of it ended up being cut.”
Jordan openly discusses his struggles with racism and how his eyes were truly opened to it after viewing the popular and historical ’70s TV miniseries “Roots.” Watching Alex Haley‘s critically acclaimed miniseries offered Jordan a true depiction of historical Black/White relations. Jordan also blames racism for all of his familial financial ails as they struggled through its effects trying to stay afloat.
It was, however, Jordan’s mom, whom he credits for helping him put his racial bias aside — and not to be consumed by it.
In 1977, Jordan recalled a racial incident, where he was suspended from school after a girl called him the N-word. The six-time NBA champion and five-time NBA MVP candidly admitted in the book, “I threw a soda at her. I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all White people.”
The now-loved-by-all sports legend recently offered an opinion on the controversial L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments, stating, “As a former player, I’m completely outraged,” Jordan said in a statement. “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.”