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Michael Jordan persuades NBA players to resume the season

Michael Jordan persuades NBA players to resume the season

Posted August. 29, 2020 08:12,   

Updated August. 29, 2020 08:12


National Basketball Association (NBA) players, who walked out in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, agreed to end the boycott through the intervention of basketball legend Michael Jordan.

NBA players voted in favor of resuming the playoffs (PO) and when games officially will be played has not been determined, according to the ESPN. Three PO games were called off after Milwaukee Bucks players refused to play in protest of the police shooting of a black man and others followed suit. There were speculations that some teams would boycott the rest of the PO as players continued to rage against racial discrimination.

Against this backdrop, Jordan served as a mediator between club owners, who wanted to restart the PO, and players. ESPN reported that Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, reached out to NBA Players Association president Chris Paul to listen to what the players hoped to achieve going forward. “Right now, listening is better than talking,” said the only Black owner in the NBA during the virtual meeting of the owners, urging the other owners to let the players express their frustrations and concerns. The owners agreed to come up with ways to allow the players to express their voices and the players, in return, decided to return to the court.

Michael Jordan, six-time NBA champion, was criticized for being silent on social issues. But he has worked to fight against racial discrimination in his own way after retirement. “Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use out vote to create systemic change,” Jordan appealed to fight against discrimination in a peaceful way when the Black community protested fiercely against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in June. Jordan and the Nike-owned Jordan Brand pledged to donate 100 million dollars over 10 years to help combat racial discrimination.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com