Video: Michael Jordan Says He Supports NBA Players' Social Activism

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 18, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC- FEBRUARY 12: Owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, hosts a press conference for media before NBA All-Star Weekend at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 12, 2019. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kent Smith/Getty Images

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is in favor of athletes using their platform to speak out on social issues.

During an interview with Craig Melvin on Friday's episode of Today, the Basketball Hall of Famer said "it's great" for players to use their voice to inspire activism:

Jordan's comments come in the wake of a firestorm created around the NBA and its business relationship with China on Oct. 6 by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who tweeted a message of support for ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that has since been deleted.

Melvin noted Jordan declined to speak on that issue because of pending litigation he has in China over improper use of his name. 

Several athletes, including a number of NBA stars, in recent years have used their platform to speak out on social issues. LeBron James has used social media to bring attention to the experiences of teenagers and young adults, who have highlighted topics such as anti-bullying and social justice.

Stephen Curry has worked with the Nothing But Nets organization, traveling to Tanzania in 2013 to hang bed nets in mud huts for residents to help protect them against diseases like malaria and typhoid fever. 

Jordan previously expressed his belief that the NBA and its players should be able to "exercise their right to free speech" in September 2017. The former Chicago Bulls superstar remains an icon in the sports world through his Air Jordan brand 16 years after retiring from the NBA.