In a world that’s been at a standstill for months, Michael Jordan has found himself busier than most. It all began in mid-April with the start of his ESPN 10-part docuseries The Last Dance, continued last week with his statement and generous donation to fight racial injustice, and concluded on Tuesday when Michael Jordan reeled in a monster fish off the North Carolina coast.
Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary a huge success
For most fans old enough to watch Michael Jordan in his prime, he is the GOAT. Watching The Last Dance just served as a reminder about the greatness of His Airness. For the younger generation, it was a first opportunity to see detailed footage of Jordan and his on-court heroics.
For everyone, it was an opportunity to get a true behind-the-scenes look at Jordan and his extremely competitive side. And it wasn’t pretty. There were numerous times where Jordan berated teammates, cussed at them, and got into physical altercations all in the name of competition.
In one episode, Jordan actually broke down when describing his competitive nature. “I’m only doing it because it is who I am. That’s how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way, don’t play that way.”
Jordan’s greatness translated into record ratings for ESPN. Record ratings as in GOAT ratings. The 10 episodes averaged 5.648 million viewers per episode over the five weeks it aired, making it the most-watched ESPN documentary of all time.
Jordan donates $100 million to fight racial inequality
A week after the final episodes aired, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s death sparked outrage across the country, and protesters mobilized in cities around the nation. Jordan, who has never been one to speak out on social issues, addressed the situation on June 1 with a statement.
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan said in the statement, which was shared on Twitter. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration.”
“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy, and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change.”
A few days later, Jordan backed up his words with his pocketbook. Jordan and his Jordan Brand committed to donate $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations assisting black people with social justice and greater access to education.
Michael Jordan catches monster fish
This week, Michael Jordan took out his 80-foot fishing boat aptly named “Catch 23,” along with his crew to participate in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, an event held annually off the coast of Morehead City, North Carolina.
The six-time NBA champion returned on Tuesday with a monstrous 442.3-pound blue marlin hauled in by the crew. While huge, Jordan’s fish was only the sixth-largest marlin caught during the tournament, which features a $3.3 million purse and draws in anglers from around the globe.
The tournament pays for the three largest blue marlins caught with the largest fish earning a hefty $1.1 million payout. There is also a $550,000 prize for the first boat to land a 500-pound blue marlin.
With two days remaining, there’s still time for Jordan and his crew to earn some prize money. The ultra-competitive Jordan who doesn’t like to finish second at anything hinted he might be back. “I would love to be back with a little bit bigger fish,” Jordan said in an interview on the tournament’s Facebook page.
Whether Jordan actually returns for more fishing is yet to be determined. Based on his history of success, who’s going to doubt that he can haul in the biggest fish?