Morehouse College’s bank account is seven figures richer thanks to a million-dollar donation made by NBA icon Michael Jordan and his billion-dollar Nike Jordan Brand.
The announcement, which came May 27, says the fund will help the historically Black college located in Atlanta enrich its journalism and sports program. The program was launched in 2007 with a donation by director Spike Lee, who is a Morehouse graduate.
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” Jordan said. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
Monique Dozier, vice president for institutional advancement at Morehouse, said the donation is an “investment in the education of talented men of color who will ensure there is equity, balance, and truth in the way sports stories are framed and the way the Black experience is contextualized within American history.”
On social media the news of Jordan’s latest donation was met with varied responses. Some were thrilled that a Black college was receiving funds to help further the education of aspiring journalists. Other people found an issue with the six-time NBA championship winner’s decision to help the Black community at all.
“Look at Jordan giving back and getting tax breaks 😂”
“Damn y’all know it’s 100+ HBCUS but congrats to y’all”
“he like black people now ?”
In the past, Jordan has faced criticism for being publicly silent on issues that impact the Black community. Some fans and onlookers have even declared the basketball great — who once said “Republicans buy shoes too” — only appreciates his community when Black dollars are tied to his sneaker sales.
But in 2020 Jordan turned heads when he spoke out about the cop killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. “I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough,” read a statement from Jordan. It was shared to the Twitter account for the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA team Jordan owns.
“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”
But speaking out against the killing and America’s ongoing struggles with racism was not the only action the former Chicago Bulls star took. Jordan and his brand also pledged to donate $100 million over the course of ten years to enrich education, combat social injustice, and ensure racial equality.
A statement from the brand read in part, “Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people.”
For Jordan’s core supporters, his efforts to do his part in positively impacting the lives of his community are seen and applauded.
“Goat energy 👏👏👏👏”