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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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michael jordan

Michael B. Jordan speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Black Panther", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

As long as humans have endeavored to do anything great, there have been those who have tried to take them down. These are the opposite of the creators in life: the bullies, haters and naysayers who only want to bring people down to their level.

But when you have a dream and desire, its easy to tune out the voices of negativity. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,” Theodore Roosevelt once said. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."

Some folks use the naysayers as fuel to push them to work even harder. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was infamous for letting his thirst for revenge drive him to even greater heights on the court.


Another Michael Jordan, "Black Panther" star, Michael B. Jordan, came face to face with someone who doubted that he could reach his dreams, and he wasn’t shy about letting her know that he remembered. What's Upworthy about the encounter is that he did so with class and confidence.

In 2023, Jordan was on the red carpet for the premiere of "Creed III," a film he starred in and directed. He was interviewed by “The Morning Hustle” radio show host Lore’l, who had recently admitted on the “Undressing Room” podcast that she used to make fun of him in school.

“You know what’s so crazy? I went to school with Michael B. Jordan at a point in life,” Lore’l said. “And to be honest with you, we teased him all the damn time because his name was Michael Jordan. Let’s start there, and he was no Michael Jordan.”

“He also would come to school with a headshot,” she added. “We lived in Newark. That’s the hood. We would make fun of him like, ‘What you gonna do with your stupid headshot?’ And now look at him!”

In addition, her co-host, Eva Marcille, referred to Jordan as “corny.”

Jordan had no problem discussing their past on the red carpet. “We go way back, all the way back to Chad Science [Academy] in Newark,” Lore’l told the actor. Oh yeah, I was the corny kid, right?” Jordan responded with a smirk.

“No, you did not hear me say that! I said we used to make fun of the name,” Lore’l said.

“I heard it,” Jordan said. “I heard it. It’s all good. What’s up?” he responded. “But yeah, [you are] obviously killing things out here…you’re not corny anymore,” Lore’l clarified.

After the exchange went viral, Lore’l admitted that she teased Jordan in school, but they were only classmates for one year.

“So the narrative that I bullied him all throughout high school—this was 7th grade. We were like 12 years old, and everyone made fun of each other,” Lore’l said. “That was school, you know. That was one year. And, again, I’ve never bullied him. That just sounds so outrageous to me.”

Jordan later shared some advice on how to deal with bullies.

"Just stay focused, just stay locked in,” he told a reporter from Complex. “You know, just follow your heart, try to block out the noise and distractions as much as possible and run your race. Don't compare yourself to anybody else. Just keep going."

Editor's note: We are re-sharing some of the best moments and most important stories of 2020. Although it was a difficult year for nearly all of us, there were also shining moments of light and signs of hope. This was one of them.

Throughout his basketball career Michael Jordan has been criticized for not letting his voice be heard when it came to political change. That does not appear to be the case anymore. In the month of June alone, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand have donated $100 million dollars to organizations committed to race equality. A portion of the funds will be allocated to organizations helping to protect black voting rights.

In the latest announcement, Jordan himself and his Jordan Brand are investing $2.5 in organizations to help combat Black voter suppression. In a statement from the Jordan Brand, it was announced: $1 million dollars is being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. and $1 million to the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement. The Black Voters Matter organization will receive $500,000 in the statement which was first reported by CNN.



In his own statement, Jordan says, "I'm all in with Jordan Brand, the Jordan family and our partners, who share a commitment to address the historical inequality that continues to plague Black communities in the U.S. There is a long history of oppression against Black Americans that holds us back from full participation in American society. We understand that one of the main ways we can change systemic racism is at the polls. We know it will take time for us to create the change we want to see, but we are working quickly to take action for the Black community's voice to be heard,"

Examples of voter suppression range from uneven voting resource allocations to denying the right to vote for felons who have served their sentence. According to NBC News, the lawmakers who denied ex-felons voting rights said that it was up to them to decide when their sentence was complete. Third-party groups that register people to vote can also be charged with criminal penalties if the forms arrive with a mistake or are incomplete.

Back in June, Jordan made it clear he was personally moved by the protests around the country sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.


However, it wasn't always like that. During his playing career, Jordan once infamously joked that "Republicans by shoes too," when asked why he didn't leverage his global celebrity for cultural and political causes. Back in 2000, Jordan did endorse Bill Bradley's run for president but that was largely seen as stemming from Jordan's professional ties to Bradley, a former NBA star. Jordan also largely stayed silent during the late 1990's when Nike came under fire for its labor practices and questions over alleged sweatshop labor.

In 2015, Jordan was called out in an ESPN article for his lack of philanthropy. The truth is Michael Jordan has given to over 20 charities including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Special Olympics and the United Negro College Fund.

On the court, Michael Jordan led by example. He has said that he never asked anything of a teammate that he wouldn't do himself. Let's hope that the ones who can afford to help are inspired by the likes of Jordan, LeBron James, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to name a few. Whether it is donating money or volunteering, let's all be a little more like Mike.

Kanye West is running around recording gospel albums, teaming up with Joel Osteen, and talking about his love of Christ every chance he gets. But his religious fervor is not without criticism. West was called out for holding invitation-only Sunday services, and acting Kanye West-like, rather than Godlike. "He's employed a choir of people who are not only singing his songs, but are all dressed in his apparel. Is Christ really at the center of this gathering?" Tobi Oredein wrote in Premier Christianity magazine.

West discussed the judgements surrounding his faith in a new interview with Vogue, saying it's okay when humans fall short of being godlike. "A lot of times, people try to point out the flaws of people who are Christian. But always remember, Christians are not Christ. We fall short. We all fall short of the glory," West told Vogue. Nobody's perfect. Not even Kanye West.


RELATED: Kanye West is building low-income houses that will look like they're straight out of 'Star Wars.'

West then made a basketball analogy, comparing Jesus to Michael Jordan. "It's like, there's a lot of people with 23 on their backs, but there's only one Jordan. You can't really compare most people with 23 on their backs to Jordan at all," West told Vogue.

West even acknowledged his own shortcomings when it comes to his faith. "I'll tell you what, when I don't apply grace, I don't get the results I'm looking for. Everything must be done with grace. That's one of the things I pray for—and I need to pray for more," he told Vogue.

This isn't the first time West addressed what people think of the way he expresses his beliefs. West alluded to judgement from the Christian community on Jesus is King. In the track "Hands On," West raps, "What have you been hearing from the Christians? / They'll be the first one to judge me / Make it feel like nobody love me."

RELATED: A girl was told she's 'too fat' to wear jean shorts at her church. Her thoughtful response is going viral.

West says religion has changed him. "I thought I had it all figured out," West told Vogue of his old life. But finding God has changed "everything, my ego," he says. He also told Vogue, "The true principles of Christ can and will make you a better person."

West may not be a perfect Christian, but he's trying. He also told Vogue he's making it a point to surround himself with people who are going to raise him up and make him a better Christian. "You can pick your influences," he said. "I sought out to have Bible study, and to be around other Christians who could keep me accountable."

Taking West's Michael Jordan analogy one step further, just because you might never be as good as Michael Jordan doesn't mean you shouldn't play basketball. Striving to hit a standard doesn't mean someone has gotten there, and they shouldn't be judged for that.

More

Michael Jordan just donated $7 million to open Charlotte-area health clinics.

The Hall of Famer flaunts some off-court heroics with his latest donation.

It's been nearly 18 years since basketball legend Michael Jordan called it quits, but this week, he proved he's still a champion.

According to the Associated Press, the former Chicago Bulls star and current Charlotte Hornets owner pledged to donate $7 million to local health centers in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jordan played the role of on-court hero so often that it just makes sense that he'd do the same off the court. GIF from NBA/YouTube.


According to his spokesperson, Jordan was inspired to make the donation after coming across a study that revealed Charlotte was dead last in a survey of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. when it comes to economic mobility for children in poverty. According to the study's findings, Charlotte children born into the bottom 20% of local income levels had just a 4.4% chance of ever rising to the top 20% in their lifetimes.

The two new Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics funded by Jordan's donation are slated to open in 2020.

"It is my hope that these clinics will help provide a brighter and healthier future for the children and families they serve," said Jordan in a press release.

On its website, Novant outlines how and why Jordan's donation will be so valuable, especially to low-income communities, writing that more than 100,000 Charlotte residents don't currently have health insurance, making access to basic health services extremely difficult. One of the goals of the new clinics will be to reduce the amount of emergency room usage, providing a more affordable option for low-income families.

"This gift will transform the lives of thousands of families and children living in poverty-stricken communities," said Novant Health president and CEO Carl Armato in the release. "We are thankful to Michael for his generosity. The gift will remove barriers to high-quality health care in some of the most vulnerable communities."

Jordan at the NBA All-Star Game in 2016. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

It's tragic that it takes a massive act of generosity from a blockbuster star like Jordan for at-risk communities to get the care they need.

The U.S. is among the most prosperous countries in the history of civilization, and yet it apparently cannot manage to take care of its citizens, with millions still without access to health care. Those numbers have improved in recent years, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the message is that there is a long way to go before we live up to our often self-bestowed reputation as the "greatest country on Earth." So long as generations of families find poverty inescapable and so long as economic status can determine your ability to survive illness, there's work to be done.

We can't forget the wins, though — whether small or large. This donation is absolutely  worth celebrating for the families who will now be able to access care.

Like he did so many times during his Hall of Fame basketball career, Jordan came through when it really mattered. GIF from NBA/YouTube.