How do you define family? One way to look at it is as a group of diverse individuals bound by love. That definition holds for the recent addition of eight WNBA players to Jordan Brand, and demonstrates Michael Jordan’s desire to form an expansive and inclusive family. “The world needs female voices, and we can’t ignore that or else we’re not growing,” he says. “The Jordan Brand is committed to giving women a platform to amplify their voices, which influence, inspire and push culture forward.”
That commitment was apparent in April 2021 when Jordan was photographed alongside the Brand’s active WNBA athletes: Jordin Canada, Te’a Cooper, Crystal Dangerfield, Chelsea Dungee, Arella Guirantes, Dearica Hamby, Kia Nurse, Aerial Powers and Satou Sabally. The gathering celebrated the Brand’s largest female roster ever, an investment in the game’s emerging stars that reveals an intention to shape the future of basketball culture. “These amazing athletes are defining a lot of things about Jordan Brand and leading a true conversation that’s impacting culture and our communities across the globe,” Jordan says.
The simultaneous elegance and strength of the images and their subjects suggest a turning point for women in society and in sports — specifically signaling a bright future for the women’s game and the next generation. “Representation really matters at this point in time,” says Seattle Storm star Jordin Canada. “To have eleven black women be a part of this brand allows the younger generation and younger women to see that they can be like us — they can have that opportunity. I didn’t see that growing up.”
This blurring of on- and off-court activism has defined Jordan Brand since its inception. A shared love for the game and everything basketball culture represents serves as a unifying platform for fans and athletes drawn to Jordan’s larger-than-life legacy and the Brand’s increasing commitment to creating impact by influencing society and championing Black community initiatives. The new members of the Jordan Brand family embody this ethos, activating their professional platforms to campaign for social justice — whether through the WNBA’s dedication of its 2020 season to the #SayHerName movement; the #WeGotUsChallenge, an initiative to support Black-owned businesses; or their own personal engagement. As Minnesota Lynx standout Crystal Dangerfield explains, “We don’t just stick to our sport. We’re vocal in the league, as a whole, and we’re going to bring it to the community — to leave things better than we found them.”
This dedication to building a powerful family legacy is precisely what drew the women to Jordan Brand. “As a member of the Jordan Brand family, you don’t just get to be a legend on the court,” Dallas Wings rookie Chelsea Dungee says, “you have to be a legend off the court.”