The latest episodes of Michael Jordan's The Last Dance featured interviews from the NBA legend himself and former US President Barack Obama talking about Jordan's political views and Jordan's 'Republicans buy sneakers too' comment. Following the release of the Last Dance 5 and 6 episodes, fans took to Twitter to ask 'Is Michael Jordan a Republican?'
“I never thought of myself as an activist,” Jordan said. “I thought of myself as a basketball player...”— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) May 4, 2020
“Was that selfish? Probably. But that was my energy.”#TheLastDance
Jordan has been in the news about his political views a few times, most recently regarding the 1990 US Senate race in North Carolina between Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt. His comment was in Sam Smith's book Second Coming about Jordan's return to the NBA. Gantt had reportedly approached Jordan as he thought he would 'help him defeat Helms'. However, Jordan declined as he was not into politics and did not know anything about the issues. Later, he said to a friend, "Republicans buy shoes, too." While the issue was mentioned time and again, Jordan's spokesperson Estee Portnoy denied Jordan's comment in 2016.
Barack Obama also spoke about the topic, commenting on Jordan's involvement in politics at the time. As per Barack Obama, someone who was 'preparing for a career in civil rights law and in public life' and knew what Helms was standing for, definitely wanted to see Jordan 'push harder' on that. Jordan commented on his involvement after Barack Obama, stating that while he commends legends like Mohammad Ali for standing up for what they believed in, he never saw himself as an activist. He only saw himself as a basketball player. He added that he was only playing and focusing on his craft. He admitted that it might have been selfish, but his energy was on basketball entirely.