Michael Jordan is all for athletes taking a stand for what they believe in.
The former NBA star, 56, sat down with Craig Melvin on Today Friday to discuss his recent work in giving back to the community, and his thoughts on current athletes using their platform to promote activism.
While he didn’t spend his time speaking out on issues during his time on the court, Jordan’s time off the court has been much different.
“Now I have more time to understand things around me, understand causes, issues and problems and commit my voice and financial support,” he told Melvin, who asked what made Jordan turn to activism after retiring from basketball.
Recently, the former basketball player is “proud” of his work in funding the opening of two medical clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina, which will help provide access to underserved communities in the area.
“I think what drives me is that I know this clinic is needed within the community, and it’s going to provide a certain service,” Jordan said of helping with The Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic.
Jordan, now a majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, shared that he wasn’t concerned with giving back as much while he was playing because his “tunnel vision was [his] craft” and he wanted to focus on being the best player he could.
RELATED: Michael Jordan Will Donate $1 Million to Relief Efforts in the Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian
When Melvin, 40, asked Jordan his thoughts on current athletes playing their sport and being activists at the same time, the retired player shared that he thinks “it’s great.”
“If they understand the causes, obviously if they feel their voice matters, that’s great and I support that,” he said.
Along with his work on the medical centers, Jordan has used his finances for other good causes.
In September, Jordan’s spokesperson Estee Portnoy released a press release confirming that the retired NBA star had pledged to donate $1 million to “organizations assisting with relief efforts in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.”
In a statement, Jordan said, “I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently. My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.”
Continued the Charlotte Hornets owner, “As the recovery and relief efforts continue, I will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify non-profit agencies where the funds will have the most impact. The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm.”
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