Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan watches the action during the first half in Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, April 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Michael Jordan’s name may be etched in history as the greatest basketball player of all time, but the sports legend had to overcome several challenges on his journey.
In a new book entitled “Michael Jordan: The Life,” Jordan shared his struggle with racism growing up in a North Carolina community where the Ku Klux Klan was heavily active. During an interview with Sports Illustrated, author Ronald Lazenby said his research revealed how powerful the Klan was at the time.
“As I started looking at newspapers back in this era when I was putting together Dawson Jordan’s [Michael’s great-grandfather] 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,” Lazenby said. “A lot of the context just wasn’t possible to put it in a basketball book. A lot of it ended up being cut.”
Lazenby goes on to chronicle the basketball legend’s ascension from a young boy to a sports superstar and how both his upbringing and his race played major roles in his life.