PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)- The Peoria Riverfront Museum and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History discussed how Michael Jordan’s legacy goes beyond the basketball court.
Presenters took a look at the new “The Last Dance” documentary from a historical and cultural perspective. Dr. Damion Thomas, Culture Curator of Sports says Jordan transformed how professional athletes are viewed at a national level, giving them a bigger impact.
Thomas explained that Jordan’s success has allowed athletes to not only be socially engaged but also economically engaged when it comes to social issues. He says the era Jordan grew up in was defined by one’s success in life.
“I think it’s important to think about Jordan not just as a basketball player, but as a global brand who has transformed how we think about sports,” Thomas said.
Thomas also said Jordan’s success as a player and businessman shows African American athletes what is possible beyond sports.
Jordan made his professional debut at the Peoria Civic Center in 1984 and by the 1990’s was one of largest names in all of professional sports in the world.
Michael Jordan won six NBA Championships all as a member of the Chicago Bulls.