Michael Jordan is in a unique situation to speak on the Donald Sterling allegations, being both a former Hall of Fame player and a current part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jordan declined to comment when he was first given the chance, which was (sadly) to be expected from anyone serving in an ownership capacity, at least initially.
But coming from two separate places apparently caused Jordan to have a change of heart, as he issued a prepared statement on Sunday.
“I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.
“As a former player, I’m completely outraged. 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.”
Jordan’s remarks are important, because they’re the first we’ve heard from any of Sterling’s fellow owners.
The normally outspoken and accessible Mark Cuban wilted under the pressure to say something before his team’s Game 3 win over the Spurs.
Its playoff time, no reason to talk about anything in the NBA that does not relate to our Mavs. Lets Go Mavs !!
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 26, 2014
As Jordan came to realize a day later, that type of non-response in a situation like this isn’t a good look, no matter the obvious reasons for choosing that position.
Jordan may have been late to comment as far as players and coaches are concerned, but he should be commended for being the first one in an ownership role who was willing to speak out.