Is Michael Jordan a Republican or Democrat? Although Jordan notoriously keeps his politics to himself, you can see the clues below, and the money trail provides the big reveal: He has donated money to Democratic leadership organizations over the years.
President Donald Trump, just before midnight on a Friday night, wrote a tweet that many interpreted as taking the side of Jordan versus LeBron James in the “who is the best NBA player ever” debate. That has some wondering about Jordan’s party allegiance, if any.
In the late-night tweet on August 3, 2018, Trump bashed both basketball great James and CNN host Don Lemon while appearing to tout Jordan. “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!” Trump wrote. Here’s the tweet:
Here’s what you need to know:
Michael Jordan Has Donated Money to Democrat Organizations & Sided With LeBron James in the Recent Controversy
Over the years, Michael Jordan has been very circumspect about his political and social beliefs, choosing to largely stay out of political debates. However, he’s given thousands of dollars over the years to Democratic organizations, as documented by the federal campaign donation website, which lists a Michael J. Jordan as a donor, saying he is a majority owner in the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jordan bought the Bobcats in 2010. His full name is Michael Jeffrey Jordan. The site lists 2012 donations by the Michael J. Jordan who is majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats to the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida; the Democratic Party of Virginia; the Democratic National Committee; the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, and Colorado Democratic Parties. Other donations under the name Michael Jordan are impossible to prove because they don’t list occupation.
Jordan sided with James in the recent controversy with the president.
“I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan said through a statement, according to NBC News.
Jordan May Have Once Said That Republicans Buy Shoes Too
Jordan may have a reason to keep his persona politics-free: It helps sell consumer goods to a wider market. According to Slate Magazine, over the years, Jordan has kept quiet about political or social issues – although he dove somewhat into the latter in 2016. Slate reports that Jordan is said to have once uttered the line: “Republicans buy shoes, too.” The quote was originally attributed to Jordan in Sam Smith’s 1995 book Second Coming.
According to Slate Magazine, in 1990, Jordan “chose not to endorse black North Carolina Democrat Harvey Gantt in his 1990 Senate race against incumbent Jesse Helms.” When declining to endorse him, the book reported, Jordan explained “He wasn’t into politics, he explained, didn’t really know the issues. And, as he later told a friend, ‘Republicans buy shoes, too.’”
The line has sometimes appeared as “Republicans buy sneakers too,” Slate reported. Jordan has denied making the comment, however.
Jordan Spoke Out Both in Defense of the Police & African-Americans Killed by the Police
Jordan spoke out, though, about the killing of police officers and of African-Americans by police. “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,” he said. The article was headlined, “I can no longer stay silent.”
Michael Jordan called for an end to division in the country. “I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,” he wrote on the Undefeated Site.
He then announced he was giving $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Jordan Did Defend NBA Players’ Right to Protest as Freedom of Speech
When the president rescinded an invitation for the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, Michael Jordan spoke out in defense of free speech, although he didn’t mention Trump by name.
“Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized,” he told The Charlotte Observer, which added that Jordan said he supports the NBA, the players “and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.”
LeBron James Is No Fan of Trump
In contrast, LeBron James has been vocal in his dislike of Trump. “The number one job in America … is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really don’t give a f— about the people,” James previously said in a video about the president.
”When I was growing up, there were like three jobs that you looked for inspiration, where you felt like these are the people that can give me life. There was the president of the United States. There was whoever was the best in sports. And then there was like the greatest musician at the time. You never thought you could be them, but you could grab inspiration from them…It’s not even a surprise when he says something. It’s like, laughable. It’s laughable and it’s scary.”
That might have had something to do with it.
You can read more about LeBron’s Trump comments here: