Everybody loves Mike Jordan...but does Mike care about anybody else?
By Doug Casner (email@example.com), 16 January 1999
Michael Jordan. Say the name and everyone conjures up visions of an easy going, hard working basketball player, undoutbly the greatest who ever played the game, who makes millions, is loved by millions, and who seemingly loves people. But does he really, and at what price?
The contract that Michael Jordan is leaving behind with the Chicago Bulls is worth approximately $37 Million a year. The contract that he has with Nike is worth approximately $40 Million, plus millions more from numerous other sources. Nice. Imagine, he takes a pay cut of $37 Million and will hardly even notice it.
Now I don't have a problem with whatever amount of money that Michael Jordan makes--well, almost. The problem that I have is with his association with Nike, famous for making Billions off the backs of 3rd World workers. Everyone loves Mike, yet are we to excuse him simply because of his extraordinary athletic ability, and his charming smile? Maybe you can, but I can't. The $40 Million that Jordan reaps from Nike comes at the expense of many thousands of workers, and their families. So while Jordan lives in luxury--his personal worth is in the Hundreds of Millions--people elsewhere are suffering.
If anything, Jordan should have been using his personal clout to force Nike to change its policies, or terminate his association with them. No matter who he is or how much people love him, Michael Jordan has become wealthy in part from the suffering of others--and there can be no excuse for such a decision. As long as athletes such as Jordan, and Tiger Woods, continue to add their prestige to the Nike label they will continue adding to the oppression of thousands elsewhere.