NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Jordan says he considered himself “a racist … against all white people” when he was a teenager.
The revelation comes in a new book, “Michael Jordan: The Life,” by Ronald Lazenby. Jordan said he grew up with the Ku Klux Klan influencing many aspects of life in North Carolina, including education and sports. It all came to a head when he was called a racial slur by a classmate in 1977.
“So I threw a soda at her,” said Jordan, who was suspended for the incident. “I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people.”
Jordan credits his mother for changing his outlook.
The 51-year-old Hall of Famer recently condemned racist remarks that resulted in a lifetime ban for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport,” he said in a statement. “In a league where the majority of players are African American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Bobcats, applauded NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after the punishment was handed down. Silver said he would do everything in his power to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
“He sent a powerful message that there can be zero tolerance for racism and hatred in the NBA,” Jordan said. “I’m confident that the league, our players and our fans will move on from this stronger and more unified.”
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