'Listening is better': Michael Jordan weighs in on NBA protests

Yahoo Sports Staff
·2-min read
Michael Jordan is pictured during an NBA press conference.
Michael Jordan, NBA legend and owner of the Charlotte Hornets, has emerged as a key voice for both players and team owners amid the league's protest action. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

NBA players have decided to resume playing after walkouts on Wednesday and Thursday in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

In communication with the league’s ownership, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has reportedly emerged as a key conduit for a group of players of which he was once a member.

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In advance of an owners meeting about player walkouts, Jordan reached out to National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul as well as Russell Westbrook to learn more about what the players hope to achieve and off assistance, according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

Jordan, the NBA’s only Black owner and chairman of its Labor Relations Committee, reportedly served as “a voice of reason” during the owner meetings, urging the other owners to allow players to get their voice out before offering their own solutions.

"Right now, listening is better than talking," Jordan told the group, according to ESPN.

That role seemed to extend to a meeting between the owners of the 13 teams remaining in the bubble and a group of players on Thursday.

Despite his team’s season being long over, Jordan was a presence on the call and made his voice heard.

“I am on this call, not as an owner, not as a former player, but simply as a Black man,” Jordan said, according to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks.

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This isn’t too surprising to see from Jordan, who has become much more outwardly political in recent years, especially in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

He has backed up his statement blasting “ingrained racism” in the U.S. with a pledge to donate $100 million alongside his Jordan Brand to help the fight against racial inequality.

Charlotte Hornets owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan is pictured.
Michael Jordan's unique position as a legendary former player and NBA team owner seen him take on a unique intermediary role. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump, who has frequently and often abusively criticised any athlete for using their sporting platform to protest, was asked about the walkouts.

Trump said he was not totally across the NBA protests, but said he thought the league had become a ‘political organisation’.

“I don’t know much about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA,” Trump said.

“They’ve become like a political organisation, and that’s not a good thing.”

With Yahoo Sport Australia