Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan headlined the sneaker world news again this week after one of his Jordan Brand employees unveiled a pair of black Air Jordan 1 High sneakers sporting “#BLACKLIVESMATTER.”
The hashtag appears in all-white lettering on the ankle straps.
Jordan Brand employee Frank Cooker posted a picture of the sneakers on Instagram along with the comment: “… and so does standing up for peace, harmony, equality and justice for ALL!”
“Is this sneaker releasing at retail?” the magazine asked. “There’s no indication at the moment, but Cooker, who works in energy design for Jordan, often posts samples and one-offs that never make it to the public.”
Jordan Brand has released Black History Month sneakers in the past, the magazine noted, “but has never expressly come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Jordan, however, has become more outspoken about police relations with minorities. In July 2016, he said he was giving $1 million each to two organizations he said were working to build trust between blacks and law enforcement: the Institute for Community-Police Relations, started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,” Jordan said in a letter at the time published on the The Undefeated website.
“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent,” he wrote. “We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment and that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.”