Maxwell: Jordan, Tiger "A Day Late And A Dollar Short"

Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods released statements about police brutality, but their message "isn't as strong" as athletes who were outspoken all along, Cedric Maxwell says

Zach Gelb
June 03, 2020 - 8:17 am
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Sports fans often like to compare players from different eras. Well, athletes today are very different from previous generations, not only on the field or court, but also in their willingness to tackle social issues head-on.

Sure, there have been plenty of activists in the sports world over the last century and beyond, but athletes today are seemingly more willing to speak up.

“I think the platform is there [with] social media,” former NBA player Cedric Maxwell said on The Zach Gelb Show. “As much as I want to go back in the day and talk about things, there was no social media. People talked about Michael Jordan during that time, having a huge platform and not using that politically. That’s one of the things, to me, that makes LeBron James the GOAT – not only what he’s done on the floor, but off the floor. For him to take on these social issues the way he has, that, to me, is just paramount. Not only are you doing things for your sport, but you’re doing things for your community. I like that.”

Jordan recently released a statement about the death of George Floyd and police brutality. So did Tiger Woods.

“It isn’t as strong because they have not done it over their years,” Maxwell said. “LeBron James has continued to do that. But again, the social platform is a lot different than it was during Jordan’s time or Tiger’s time early on. . . . There’s an old saying: a day late and a dollar short. Where were you during this time?”

Maxwell, won won two NBA titles with the Boston Celtics in the 1980s, took Jordan – and Nike – to task for releasing Jordan’s new shoes in the midst of a pandemic.

“Nike and Michael Jordan – the state of Georgia was open – and they decided to drop Michael Jordan’s new shoe. Why?” Maxwell asked. “At that point, if you’re Nike, do you need that negative publicity? You see all these kids with no mask on during a pandemic trying to get Michael Jordan’s shoes. That’s one of those things that I think you need to think about before you go out and do it. Nike and Jordan are much too smart to be in that situation. He already was in the news with The Last Dance, but then to put himself in that position for that particular thing, to have 1,000 kids outside of a store trying to get his shoes, that made no sense to me at all – for Nike or for Jordan.”