Wikimedia Commons / Pete Souza (Official White House Photo)
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Pete Souza (Official White House Photo) President Barack Obama plays basketball at Fort McNair on May 9, 2009.

Jordan and Obama vests fetch record sums in Los Angeles auction

Basketball vests previously worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan and former president of the United States Barack Obama were auctioned for record sums in Los Angeles last week.

Jordan’s iconic number 23 vest, which he wore during his inaugural season with the Chicago Bulls, sold for £235,000 ($320,000).

President Obama’s vest, worn while playing for his Punahou School team, was traded for £143,000 ($192,000), £52,000 more than a similar high-school jersey auctioned in 2019.

Julien’s Auctions – the Beverly Hills house that oversaw the sale of both items – said Mr Obama’s shirt is dated to 1979 when he helped his school win Hawaii’s state basketball championship.

The former president’s affinity with the sport has been well-documented. In his new book, A Promised Land, Mr Obama admits he stopped coaching his daughter’s basketball team after parents from a rival club complained that his coaching had given Sasha’s team an unfair advantage.

Michael Jordan and the Bulls changed the culture

– President Barack Obama

The sale of both vests follows the release of Netflix’s The Last Dance, a documentary series about the Chicago Bulls’ success during the 1990s. President Obama appeared on the show, providing insight into Jordan’s socio-political influence.

“Michael Jordan and the Bulls changed the culture,” Mr Obama admitted.

It is thought the documentary sparked renewed interest in both items, helping the ‘Jordan 23’ vest to break the previous sale record of £214,000 ($288,000) set in July.

An autographed shirt worn by LeBron James and an NFL jersey worn by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick also fetched six-figure sums.

Kaepernick’s jersey, worn during his debut for the San Francisco 49ers, sold for an NFL record of £95,000 ($128,000). In 2016, Kaepernick became the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem in protest against police brutality

Earlier this year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league had been “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier” about issues of racial injustice in the United States.


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