Michael Jordan is the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Now that I’ve said that, I think the following has a place on this site. In all honesty, this is the deep dark off season. I Google-News the Bobcats every couple days or so, I check twitter of course, and there’s nothing going on. I decided to check ESPN.com, knowing they sometimes link to stories on the team-page that I might not come across otherwise. Sure enough, they had a story there, that I would have likely never read or come across.
There are a couple headlines: ”Granderson: Michael Jordan’s Obama fundraiser 22 years after Harvey Gantt,” and “The political Michael Jordan.” The article is by LZ Granderson, who I’ve never heard of and don’t know anything about. At first glance I thought it was Liz Granderson but it’s not, it’s LZ, a man and a black man at that, from what I can tell. I consider myself post-racial, so I can point things like that out. Read the article, it’s semi-interesting in an off-season desperation sort of way.
Right now, the only Bobcats news you’re going to get is related to the DNC at the arena or this little story about Michael Jordan hosting a fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Actually, if you have the auto-play enabled on ESPN.com you’ll see a little debate on whatever that show where they have the old guy take the wrong side of an argument over and over, stating that David Stern and Jordan are both involved in the Obama re-election fund.
I’ve discussed politics as they relate to Bobcats ownership before, it’s actually how I got my start blogging about the team. Bob Johnson was jumping in full force behind Hilary Clinton (I know, dangerous), and I caught him on BET one day and thought it might be a bit ridiculous for a person like him (needing to sell tickets and whatnot) making bold politically charged comments to a wide audience. This was 4 years ago (Ziggy, can you believe it’s been 4 years since I started here?) in the primaries. He was out front, literally, he was on camera making statements and arguing for one candidate over another. Now, quietly, the new owner, who is a much bigger star, is hosting a fundraiser, for the same candidate the previous owner didn’t like.
Anyway, I like my sports over here and my politics way, way, way over there. Like way off to the right or something. Somewhere completely far away from my sports to where they aren’t even touching. Right now, there are no Bobcats sports to talk about, except this, and sadly, I’m forced to discuss this, also because I have an opinion.
Back to the article in question, Granderson is drawing attention to opposing Michael Jordans. One, the player Michael Jordan, greatest ever, who refused to help out with Harvey Gantt’s Senate campaign against the evil, hated, racist Jesse Helms. The other, the owner Michael Jordan, not that great as a front office executive or owner, who is willing to help out with Obama’s campaign for President. To me, the article is heavy on the Jesse Helms hate, light on any sort of actual argument and sort of pointless.
I’ll tell you, LZ, why Jordan is entering the fray now and not then. #1 he’s got time. He’s a retiree now, his kids are mostly grown and he’s got a bunch of people to do the heavy day-to-day lifting. Back then around 1990, he was entering his first championship season, the prime of his career and he was likely working on something everyday. #2 he cares. Back then it was Harvey Gantt in North Carolina, sure it’s where he’s from but not where he lived or made his money. I can understand expecting that Jordan would be helpful but why, when he wasn’t fully solidified in his ability to sell anything to anyone, would Jordan put his neck out for someone in a far away state that was going for a state-wide position? He donated to Obama’s Senate campaign back in 2002 because he likely knew people close to Obama and he lived full time in Illinois. Now, he’s an Obama supporter and is going to stick with him and he probably believes in Obama’s whole thing. #3, the DNC is using a building where Jordan’s company is the main lease-holder to nominate Obama yet again.
There are more connections now than there were back in the ’90s. Gantt was a great guy for Charlotte, and continues to be great for the city. Helms had his faults as many of his fellow Congressmen of that generation did. Jordan wasn’t going to jump into the middle of that fight. The comment “Republicans buy sneakers too,” might not even be apt anymore. People who don’t vote buy sneakers. When was the last time you were in line to vote and you saw people wearing some Air-Jordans? I don’t know. It’s a different world now.
Who cares if Michael Jordan, David Stern, Howard Stern, Gerald Henderson and Jordan Michaels all get behind the Green-Party candidate? My sports are over here, and my politics are way over there. Maybe it works that way for them as well? My two favorite sports venues are going to be home to the party that I least identify with for a week or so just before the seasons start up. Does that sully them in my mind? Yeah, a little, but it’s not like I’m not going to go to another Bobcats or Panthers game because of them. You know why? Because Democrats need a place to meet, too.