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Michael Jordan rips social media era, makes bold admission

Michael Jordan, NBA

Throughout his stories NBA career with the Chicago Bulls and later, the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan garnered attention and scrutiny that few athletes before or after him have experienced. Jordan played in the league from the 1980s to the 2000s, winning six titles and almost every individual honor with the Bulls and becoming recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time.

He retired for the final time in 2003, which means that he wasn’t around for the rise of social media in the succeeding years and how important it became for players to establish their brands and connect to their fans. 

 

In an hour-long interview with Cigar Aficionado, the 57-year old Jordan, now the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, admits that social media and the role it plays in athletes’ lives is the biggest change from his time. He mentioned the scrutiny that athletes like Tiger Woods have to deal with in this day, and wonders how he would have dealt with it, especially as someone who values his private time. 

“Tiger [Woods] played at his peak somewhere toward the end of my career. Then, what changed from that time-frame to now is social media – Twitter and all those types of things. And that has invaded the personalities and personal time of individuals. It’s to the point where some people have been able to utilize it to their financial gain and things of that nature.

“But for someone like myself – and this is what Tiger deals with – I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter [era], where you don’t have the privacy that you’d want and what seems to be very innocent can always be misinterpreted.”

Even during his time with the Bulls, Jordan dealt with controversies regarding how he spent his private. A notable example of this was when he took a trip to gamble in Atlantic City on the night before Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Knicks, which was controversial at the time. 

Jordan is not only known as the game’s greatest player, but also has a reputation for being cerebral and being able to play through anything. So for him to acknowledge the challenge of playing as an athlete while dealing with the constant scrutiny on social media speaks volumes about how much of a challenge it is for athletes.