Michael Jordan to headline fundraising game for President Obama

In 1990, basketball superstar Michael Jordan famously refused to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt in a North Carolina Senate race, saying “Republicans buy shoes, too.”

Twenty-two years later, Jordan is apparently no longer worried about sneaker sales.

The Hall of Famer will headline a celebrity basketball game that will double as a fund-raiser for President Obama, the Obama campaign announced Tuesday. Other high-profile participants in the Obama Classic will include Patrick Ewing, Carmelo Anthony, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Mourning.

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The Globe and Sports Illustrated have noted in recent reports that political activism by professional athletes is unusual.

The campaign is billing the event as an opportunity to “meet the president—and shoot hoops with some of the best basketball players alive.”

The basketball game is being used as a lure for donors, whose contributions will automatically enter them in a contest to win tickets to the event. Obama’s reelection campaign announced the game a day after Republican challenger Mitt Romney reported a higher fund-raising total than the president for the third consecutive month.

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