Harvey Schiller responds to Michael Jordan calling him ‘a dick’ in ‘The Last Dance’
One moment that stood out in Episode 5 of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” is when Michael Jordan refused to show the Reebok logo while accepting his 1992 gold medal as part of the “Dream Team” at the Olympics.
“Michael was so singular in his competitive drive, and a drive that extended to his partners, like Nike, that he could not bare the thought of wearing the Reebok logo on a global stage: Receiving a gold medal at the Olympics,” former NBA Inside Stuff host Willow Bay said on the documentary series. “So he covered the Reebok logo with the United States flag.”
In the documentary series, there’s a camera recording Jordan talking about this moment. He complains about having to wear the Reebok jacket and explicity mentions Harvey Schiller, calling him “a dick.” In 1992, Schiller was named Executive Director of the United States Olympic Committee. In this role, he helped bring in corporate sponsorships, such as Reebok.
“Harvey Schiller. What a dick,” Jordan says in the documentary. “The guy who said if we don’t wear our uniforms, we can’t accept our gold medal and all that stuff. … They said they are going to try to hide the Reebok on it. But they can’t hide it like I’m going to hide it. They in for a big f—ing surprise.”
Schiller was probably just relaxing at home watching the series when he was suddenly caught in the crossfires of Jordan. But the sports executive had a good-natured response on social media shortly after the episode aired.
At the time, Schiller was adament that players wore the jacket.
“They must realize that they are 12 of 610 American athletes,” Schiller said in 1992. “Every one of those 610 athletes who have realized their Olympic dreams by making this team is important, but in order to be consistent, each athlete must follow the regulations outlined in the code of conduct. There can be no exceptions.”
So since the wearing of the jacket was mandatory, Jordan found a clever way around wearing it without upsetting his sponsors. Although at the time Nike denied telling Jordan he had to cover the logo up.
“We’re not insisting that he refuse the jacket,” Nike’s director of sports marketing Steve Miller said. “We’ve had no conversations with him whatsoever. Michael is a very interesting individual, one with a very strong value system. These individuals are just that, individuals. People think we have tremendous control over their lives. We do have business relationships with them. But we can’t dictate what they do.”
Miller did add, however, “I expect him to do what’s right.”
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