“Basically, I was against all white people," Jordan says in the biography Michael Jordan: The Life.
The book was written by Roland Lazenby, who told Sports Illustrated Jordan was hardened by a childhood in North Carolina where "the Klan was like a chamber of commerce."
"I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time,” Jordan admitted.
Jordan said he was once suspended from school when he threw a soda at a classmate who called him the N-word.
Lazenby says Jordan’s views changed as he grew but the memories of that time and his struggle helped motivate #23 his entire career.
The book comes as the NBA is dealing with the fallout from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned after racist comments made to his girlfriend. Jordan was quick to say, “ I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport.”
Other tidbits from the book;
• Both sides of his family were moonshiners.
• His Babe Ruth League baseball career was “basically a failure."
• Despite his long-running endorsement deal with Nike, early in his career Jordan preferred Adidas.