Michael Jordan, the racially transcendent basketball star, admits that he hated whites growing up in North Carolina.
In Michael Jordan: The Life, discussed in today’s New York Post, the former Chicago Bulls star tells author Ronald Lazenby that the Ku Klux Klan’s presence in the Tar Heel State and the impact of the miniseries Roots heightened his racial awareness as a teen in the 1970s. His anger came to a boiling point when a female classmate called him the n-word. “So I threw a soda at her,” Jordan admits. “I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people.”
After a school suspension, Jordan received an admonition from his mother not to let hatred consume him. The talk, like getting cut from the varsity team as a sophomore, inspired. Jordan left the bad feelings behind him. Last year, the Hall of Famer married Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto and celebrated the birth of multiracial twins. Forbes estimates that he earned around $90 million, mostly in sneaker money and endorsements, last year and his net worth should eclipse $1 billion within a few years.
He remains the sole African American owner of an NBA team, the Charlotte Bobcats, which gives him unique insight into the Donald Sterling scandal surrounding the racist remarks by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
“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,” the New York Post quotes Jordan on Sterling. “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.”