Basketball legend Michael Jordan—whom you probably know best from the iconic 1996 film Space Jam—is handing over the $8.9 million he was awarded in a recent settlement to local nonprofits that help Chicago area children. Jordan plans to donate the money next summer.
Jordan was awarded the money in a successful lawsuit against grocery chains Dominick’s for using his name in an advertisement without his permission. A similar case is pending against supermarket Jewel-Osco, which is owned by the same company that owns Dominick’s, Cerberus Capital. The case against Dominick’s has been ongoing for six years since the stores, and even after his lawyers have been paid, plenty of money remains for charitable purposes.
Estee Portnoy, Jordan’s spokesperson, has not specified the size of the athlete’s donation, but she has said that it will go to 23 different charities including After School Matters, Casa Central, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
“I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there,” Jordan said in a press release. “The charities I’ve chosen to make donations to all support the health, education, and well-being of the kids in Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids—the city’s future.”
The basketball star has said that he filed the lawsuit because he wanted to protect his name and image, and not because he was ever interested in the money. Dominick’s says that only two people actually used the discount code associated with Jordan’s name in a purchase—the item in question was an ad published in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated.
Dominick’s says that they did not place the ad in the magazine to draw customers in to purchase discounted steaks; they did it, they said, to showcase Jordan’s accomplishments.