The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are not the first athletes to elect not to visit the White House after winning a championship.
Michael Jordan once did too!
A six-time NBA Champion and current owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Jordan skipped the ritual in 1991 when George H.W. Bush was U.S. President.
It’s been said that after the Chicago Bulls won their first championship, Jordan said: ‘F*** Bush I didn’t vote for him.’
“See that’s the part that MJ understood,” Craig Hodges, Jordan’s former Chicago Bulls teammate told me on Scoop B Radio.
“You know, MJ is not publicly political but he can handle his affairs where he can make a political statement. When he didn’t come to the White House, it was a statement.”
“But once again, there was no push back from any of his sponsors or any of that because he is who he is and he is the golden goose for a lot of marketers and endorsement companies.”
Craig Hodges was blackballed by the NBA after he handed a letter to President George H.W. Bush during the Bulls’ championship visit to the White House. The contents of the letter, according to Hodges made President Bush aware of the mistreatment of poor people and people of color in the United States.
“It’s not a surprise that it didn’t come back,” said Hodges. “But I understood where he was coming from and that Bush wasn’t his homie.”
Hodges said things changed when former U.S. President Bill Clinton got into office. “He hung out with Clinton and golfed with him,” he said.
“So that let them know.”
Presidential and sports relationships are interesting; especially these days.
Last summer, President Donald Trump lashed out at NBA superstar LeBron James and seemed to favor former Bulls star Michael Jordan.
Responding to James’ recent interview on CNN with anchor Don Lemon — an interview that includes critical takes of the president from King James — Trump took to Twitter to fire back.
Mike would be Michael Jordan, who released a statement on Saturday through his spokesperson that said: “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”
During a CNN segment Monday on the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron (Ohio) Public Schools launching a new elementary school for at-risk children in James’ hometown, the new star of the Los Angeles Lakers noted that Trump — a frequent critic of the NFL — was “using sports to kinda divide us.”
“Sports has never been something that divides people,” James told Lemon. “It’s always been something that brings someone together.”