Michael Jordan as agent of sociopolitical change? That is a generous depiction of His Airness. Sure, Jordan was an agent of commercial change, and he changed a lot of things about the NBA and the game of basketball, but the most controversial thing he ever said politically was that "Republicans buy sneakers, too."
This is not meant to start a debate about Jordan, but to point out the (intentional?) irony in a poster that, according to one Reddit user, is hanging in an art gallery in Beijing. It has Jordan in a military general’s getup above the words, "Who can change the world? Not war, but basketball."
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It’s the Pro-Basketball Party! It votes in favor of basketball on all major issues. Michael Jordan can save the world using Michael Jordan. It’s ideal.
It seems unlikely Jordan knew about this, of course. The Redditor who posted it — harryerickson — said there was a guy selling these posters on the street for 5 Renminbi, which is the equivalent of 81 American cents, so, commercially, this is a slight step up from street art. But it is pretty dang cool, isn’t it? It’s Jordan in his prime, and his handsomest looking confidently and cold-bloodedly into the viewer’s face. And he’s wearing a fancy general outfit and the whole thing looks all faded, like it was from the early 20th century.
One problem, though. If all war were replaced by basketball tomorrow, you can have MJ. Give me General Pat Riley, please.