At an fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday evening in New York, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged attendees at the LGBT gala to be ballers and “max out” to the Democratic National Committee.
“We need you to keep on writing those checks, and if you haven’t maxed out, you know, what’s my motto? Max out,” she said. “Let’s say it together: Max out. And if you’ve maxed out, get your friends to max out. It’s a very — maxing out.”
She then added, “Sounds kind of baller, too–maxing out. Everyone here should be maxed out.”
Jason Collins, the NBA player who became the first openly gay male athlete in a major American sport to come out publicly, headlined the event. Michelle Obama reportedly said she was proud of his “courage.”
As was noted by some on Twitter who were familiar with the lingo, “baller” is slang for someone who has “made it.” As Urban Dictionary notes, it originally referred to ball players who made it big off the streets but now refers to thugs or gangsters who are “living large.” “Baller” would certainly not describe Collins, who graduated from Harvard Westlake and Stanford and comes from one of California’s most exclusive zip codes. It would not describe her husband either. Barack Obama graduated from elite Punahou High School, which boasts graduates like AOL co-founder Steve Case and golfer Michelle Wie.
@toddstarnes Baller = slang for some1 who has “made it” big. While FLOTUS should be above using such a term, it’s not inappropriate per se.
— RedBrightandTrue (@RedBrightandTru) May 30, 2013