Despite it feeling like a lifetime ago, the social media era is only new and it was only the likes of the Kardashians who proved what big business the platform could be. But for celebrities who found fame in the ’80s and ’90s, television and print was their biggest platform and the press was far more succinct than it is today. For Michael Jordan, the NBA legend believes his life would look very different if he were at the height of his career in 2020.
Using prominent sporting figures such as Tiger Woods as an example, Jordan spoke to Cigar Aficionado on how social media has been utilised by fans and the media in the 2000s.
“Tiger [Woods] played at his peak somewhere toward the end of my career. Then, what changed from that time-frame to now is social media – Twitter and all those types of things,” Jordan said. “And that has invaded the personalities and personal time of individuals.
“It’s to the point where some people have been able to utilise it to their financial gain and things of that nature. But for someone like myself – and this is what Tiger deals with – I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter [era], where you don’t have the privacy that you’d want and what seems to be very innocent can always be misinterpreted.”
Without social media, Jordan successfully scored many sponsorship deals including McDonalds and Space Jam as well collaborations with Nike which led to the longstanding Jordan sportswear and sneaker brand. In early 2020, Michael Jordan was the focus of doco-series The Last Dance which chronicled his most prolific career, controversy and all, and proves at least his late career has so far survived the unforgiving ‘cancel culture’.
Watch the full interview below.