NBA: Malawi newspaper's hilarious 'Crying Jordan' snub

The image used for a story in a Malawi newspaper depicting a crying Michael Jordan. Photo / Twitter
The image used for a story in a Malawi newspaper depicting a crying Michael Jordan. Photo / Twitter

Michael Jordan spent the best part of two decades as the most dominant player in the NBA.

Playing over 1000 regular season games, images of his likeness on the court are at no shortage, even some 13 years after his retirement.

In that period since, Jordan has used his stature as a basketball superstar to branch into various business and entertainment industries, making him one of the most iconic Americans still alive today.

It is that prestige that makes this editorial blunder even more unbelievable - and rather offensive.

Twitter user @daliballz posted an image of an article in a Malawian newspaper citing Jordan's comments in regards to racial violence in the US. However it was the picture that accompanied the yarn that looked largely out of place.

Above the headline "Basketball great Jordan speaks out on US race violence," sat the infamous "Crying Jordan" image.

The picture, depicting Jordan in tears during his speech at his Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009, has become one of the most popular internet memes in recent memory.

After such a decorated career, was this really the best stock photo they could find?

Apparently, in a time where memes are as treasured as the smart phones they so often flood, Crying Jordan is more recognisable than Chicago Bulls Jordan. In Malawi, at least.

American sports pundit Jason Whitlock said the use of the meme had gone too far in making a "laughing stock" out of one of the greatest American athletes of all time.

"Every time you turn on the internet (it's there), and now you have got legitimate newspapers in other countries - they don't even know they are making a joke out of the guy when they put him on their paper with this Crying Jordan meme," Whitlock said.

"Crying Jordan" even has its own Twitter handle, with a whopping 33,200 followers.
Image aside, the topic of the article was a lot more serious.

Speaking out against gun violence in the US, Jordan touched on the recent issues of race and police-related tensions, calling for "constructive change" on Tuesday.

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well," wrote Jordan, in a letter released to The Undefeated, an ESPN website dedicated to the intersection of race and sports.

"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. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of colour 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.

"Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognise that for many people of colour their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change."


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