Michael Jordan Rallies the Black Vote

Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand, a subdivision of Nike, are together donating $2.5 million towards supporting the Black vote in the United States, according to an announcement made on July 29th.

The donation will be split among three groups: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. ($1 million), the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement ($1 million), and the Black Voters Matter organization ($500,000). These were chosen because Jordan is looking for a swift impact, for his money to directly benefit black voters in critically underrepresented cities and states before the 2020 Presidential election in November.

“We understand that one of the main ways we can change systemic racism is at the polls,” said Jordan in a statement spread by his Twitter.

“We know it will take time for us to create the change we want to see, but we are working quickly to take action for the Black Community’s voice to be heard.”

This $2.5 million is just the first wave of $100 million pledged by Jordan and the Jordan Brand in June to be donated over the next decade to build up defenses against systemic racism by supporting social, economic, and educational justice in underserved communities.

“The $100 million commitment was just the start,” said Jordan Brand president Craig Williams. “We are moving from commitment to action. Our initial partners can directly impact the social and political well-being of the Black community. We will have a disciplined focus on social justice, economic justice and education, as the most effective ways for us to eliminate the systemic racism that remains in society.”

Critics are lambasting Nike for backing Black Lives Matter-adjacent philosophies while ignoring the forced labor and racism in their own supply chain, not unfairly. But $100 million will go a long way, and perhaps will convince their own upper echelons that making the right choice will, in the long run, be more profitable.

News The Power of Giving

Michael Jordan Donates Lawsuit Settlement to Charity

Basketball legend Michael Jordan—whom you probably know best from the iconic 1996 film Space Jam—is handing over the $8.9 million he was awarded in a recent settlement to local nonprofits that help Chicago area children. Jordan plans to donate the money next summer.

Jordan was awarded the money in a successful lawsuit against grocery chains Dominick’s for using his name in an advertisement without his permission. A similar case is pending against supermarket Jewel-Osco, which is owned by the same company that owns Dominick’s, Cerberus Capital. The case against Dominick’s has been ongoing for six years since the stores, and even after his lawyers have been paid, plenty of money remains for charitable purposes.

Estee Portnoy, Jordan’s spokesperson, has not specified the size of the athlete’s donation, but she has said that it will go to 23 different charities including After School Matters, Casa Central, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there,” Jordan said in a press release. “The charities I’ve chosen to make donations to all support the health, education, and well-being of the kids in Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids—the city’s future.”

The basketball star has said that he filed the lawsuit because he wanted to protect his name and image, and not because he was ever interested in the money. Dominick’s says that only two people actually used the discount code associated with Jordan’s name in a purchase—the item in question was an ad published in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated.

Dominick’s says that they did not place the ad in the magazine to draw customers in to purchase discounted steaks; they did it, they said, to showcase Jordan’s accomplishments.