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“I’m Not Gonna Bow Down to Your Level”: Michael Jordan Criticized the Invasion of Privacy During Father’s Saddening Tragedy (2004)

Published 11/07/2022, 7:10 AM EST

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The lives of professional athletes are as public as it gets. There are very few things celebrities or professional athletes get to do privately. The invasion of privacy from fans, media, and others tends to take a toll. And that is what happened when the father of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan tragically passed away. It was a major loss suffered by MJ. 

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MJ had lost his father, James Raymond Jordan Sr. in 1993, and the death of his father quickly ended up becoming nationally televised news. 


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How the media barraged Michael Jordan

The loss that Jordan had suffered was tragic. However, journalists and the media did not stop jawing at MJ. Jordan had to face a barrage of questions during post-game interviews at the time.

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While sitting down with Ahmad Rashad and other greats from different sports in 2004, Michael Jordan ended up shedding some light on that whole scenario. Rashad asked him how hard was the fact that not only did he have to deal with his family but with the public after his father’s death.


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To that, Jordan said, “Well, that wasn’t hard. I mean because obviously when it becomes personal and is so closed, I can’t care less what people think at that time. We do, and sometimes, we do think about other people’s perceptions of things.”


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“But when it comes to family, comes to something like that, dealing with it, I can’t care less what the public thinks. You know, I don’t have to talk about it, I can say no comment and I think they understand. You know, when they make the accusations or why things happened or whatever, you can’t do anything about that, obviously but I don’t have to comment on it. I’m not gonna bow down to your level,” he added.

The way Jordan handled the press

Furthermore, Jordan concluded his whole dialogue by saying, “They say things to try to get your reaction so that you open up the door for criticism, you open up the door for conversation. You don’t let it take control of you. As long as you’re in control, you’re fine. Once it takes control of you, now you losing the battle.”


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Watch This Story – Michael Jordan’s one-handed ball fake will shake you to the core

After James Jordan’s death, the media ended up linking his father’s death with Jordan’s gambling debts. The media speculated that Jordan had something to do with his father’s death. However, MJ made sure to handle the press and the media with the utmost courtesy. And did not let the media faze him.

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Written by:

Abhishek Dhariwal


One take at a time

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He earned his bachelor's degree in English Honors from St. Xavier's College and his master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from AAFT School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
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Edited by:

Veer Badani