Old Michael Jordan interview proves he was not indifferent to social issues -"It's somewhat painful to me that one person can be viewed so high above other people"

Amid his stature as the greatest basketball player of all time, some claim that Michael Jordan did not utilize his fame enough to speak on social issues. While it is true that Jordan has been discreet on most pressing social concerns, an old interview reveals that he was not indifferent to them.

A young Mike on fame

"As far as being on a pedestal, it's a compliment, yet it's somewhat painful to me that one person can be viewed so high above other people," Jordan said, per GQ. "For example, if I go to a restaurant, I am very likely to get that meal free. But poor people who go to the same restaurant got to wash dishes to eat. And I'm the one that can afford it. If you can explain that, then you can explain society, and you can explain Richie Weaver looking up to me."

The interview was conducted in 1989, Jordan's fifth year in the NBA. By then, he was already known as one of the best basketball players on the planet. He had been crowned league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and a couple of scoring titles, too. It was only a matter of time before he won his first NBA Championship.

"The black guy"

Jordan also spoke about his fame in relation to the color of his skin. Back then and even up to now race has always been a controversial subject in the US. In the event that he makes a mistake or falters in any way, Jordan knows the color of his skin will be raised.

"They aren't old enough to see color yet," Jordan said. "If they see me not as a black man but as a person they wish they could be like, they enjoy watching, enjoy meeting and being around, that's fine, I'm accomplishing a goal. But it's dangerous because if I so happen to fall publicly, the first thing I'm going to get discomfort from is their parents. Who knows what their parents might say? And they can be the biggest influence in changing me from Michael Jordan the person to Michael Jordan the black guy."

These old anecdotes debunk the claim that Jordan didn't care about social issues at the peak of his career. The man did speak about things other than basketball. One can argue that his impact on the floor was so great that it outshone the other things he stood up for during the entirety of his NBA career. 

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