On 25 July 2016, the web site TMZ Hip Hoppublished an article that played on the previous reluctance of former NBA superstar Michael Jordan to speak out about social and political issues, reporting that Jordan had said he wasn’t going to sell any more shoes “until black people unite”:
“YOU WILL STAND IN LINE FOR MY SHOES BUT WON’T STAND UP FOR YOURSELF”
Said Former NBA Star Michael J Jordan after he finally broke his silence about the recent killings of black men. As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers.
This article was just another fabrication from TMZ Hip Hop, a fake news site that is not affiliated with the celebrity gossip web site TMZ. TMZ Hip Hop does not carry a disclaimer identifying their content as fictional in nature, but a quick survey of their previously published articles reveals that they deal almost exclusively in fake stories. In addition to the above-quoted article, TMZ Hip Hop has also published fabricated stories reporting that Jordan had purchased the Chicago Bulls basketball team (he hadn’t), that he had released a Black Lives Matter shoe (he didn’t), and that he was dead (he in’t).
While Jordan didn’t say that he would stop selling sneakers until all black people unite, the NBA legend did release a statement on 25 July 2016 about gun-related violence by and towards police. Jordan also donated $1 million to the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.