The Smithsonian Institution has announced a $5 million gift from basketball legend Michael Jordan in support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In recognition of the gift, a hall in the new museum's Sports Gallery that is dedicated to people and institutions whose actions changed their sport, transcended their game, and transformed society will be named "The Michael Jordan Hall: Game Changers." Jordan also donated a Chicago Bulls jersey that he wore during the 1996 NBA Finals to the museum's permanent collection. Including federal aid, the museum, which President Obama will open in September, has raised more than $548 million.
The inaugural exhibition in the Sports Gallery space will feature artifacts associated with seventeen "game-changing" athletes, including tennis player Althea Gibson, track-and-field great Jesse Owens, and Jordan, who played fifteen seasons in the NBA and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. He also won two gold medals as a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball squad, including the "Dream Team" in 1992.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to support this museum," said Jordan. "I also am indebted to the historic contributions of community leaders and athletes such as Jesse Owens, whose talent, commitment, and perseverance broke racial barriers and laid the groundwork for the successful careers of so many African Americans in athletics and beyond."