Politics / Other
If you are in your thirties or forties and were not raised deep in the jungle far, far away from technology…then you not only know who Michael Jordan is, you’ve also probably been influenced by him. The man was an athletic genius, leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships over an eight year period in the 1990’s. He’s also one of the greatest salesmen in history. His good looks and charismatic smile have sold millions of Big Macs, boxes of Wheaties, Rayovak batteries, Ballpark franks, bottles of Gatorade, and of course, pairs of Air Jordan sneakers.
Did you ever wonder what Michael Jordan’s politics are? Who Jordan votes for? What political party he affiliates with? What are his views? So much about this man is known on the surface; but what lies beneath? Only Michael and those close to him can truly answer that question, but there are a few moments from his past that give us a glimpse.
In 1992, Jordan was approached by the campaign of Harvey Gantt, a black Democrat running for Senate in North Carolina, asking for Michael’s support. Jordan declined, and his reason has often been quoted as “Republicans buy sneakers too.” Unlike so many other influential athletes, such as Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown, who used their fame and influence to voice social or political views, Jordan preferred the broad appeal of his personal brand. Nothing hurts sales more than alienating half of your target market. Jordan understood this well, and although its easy to be critical of him for not wanting to be more involved, there is no written rule that says celebrities must be political.
Jordan has been more involved recently. In 2004, he donated to the Senatorial Campaign of Barack Obama. In 2012, MJ hosted a $20,000 a plate fundraiser for the President in New York. President Obama is famously a huge basketball fan, so maybe MJ just likes the guy. Or maybe he’s a democrat. Or maybe he’s a multi-millionaire, even possibly billionaire, NBA owner who likes to rub shoulders with important people and doesn’t get too controversial because he likes to sell us products. Either way, he’s MJ…and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still popular enough that he could win the next election for the White House himself in a landslide.