The new Michael Jordan biography by Roland Lazenby released Tuesday reveals a lot of new information about the six-time NBA champion, including his own admission that he was racist and "against all white people" as a teenager.
According to E! Online
, the new, 708 page book takes what is likely the most exhaustive look at Jordan to date, diving into his father's alleged sexual abuse, his gambling problem, his huge success with Nike's Air Jordan sneaker series, and his role as part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Even though Jordan recently commended NBA commissioner Adam Silver's firing of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, for his alleged racist remarks, he hasn't often commented on race and racism. He even famously said "Republicans buy shoes, too" during the race between Senator Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt in which Helms rand the "Hands" ad that told the story of a white man losing his job because of racial quotas, The Daily Beast points out
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In his youth, however, Jordan was called the n-word by a girl at school. In anger, he threw a soda at her, and was subsequently suspended from school.
"I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people," he was quoted saying by Lazenby.
In the book, Lazenby further contextualizes Jordan's upbringing and the incident by diving into his family history and the atmosphere of North Carolina at the time.
"As I started looking at newspapers back in this era when I was putting together [Michael's great-grandfather] Dawson Jordan's life, the Klan was like a chamber of commerce. It bought the uniforms for ball teams, it put Bibles in all the schools. It may well have ended up being a chamber of commerce if not for all the violence it was perpetrating, too," he wrote.
Jordan says the soda incident came right after his great-grandfather Dawson died. He said he was angry at the poverty-stricken life he led. He was handicapped, yet labored rafting logs, sharecropping, and working as a cook at a whites-only hunting club.
The book also chronicles Jordan's family history as moonshiners, which provided them with supplemental income to their farming.
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