Nike executive reveals he shot and killed rival gang member decades ago

Nike executive reveals he shot and killed rival gang member decades ago

By ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT #EditorsPicks

Larry Miller opens up about criminal past in exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated

A top executive for Nike reveals in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated that he shot and killed a rival in 1965 when he was a teenage gang member.

It’s a secret that Larry Miller, the chairman of Nike’s Jordan brand and former president of the Portland Trail Blazers, had held inside for more than 56 years.

Miller, now 72, said he was 16 years old in West Philadelphia when he opened fire on an 18-year-old named Edward White in retaliation for the stabbing death of one of his buddies in the Cedar Avenue gang.

Miller and his crew wanted to exact revenge against a rival gang called 53rd and Pine.

“By the time I was 16, I was just a straight-up gangbanger, thug,” he told SI. “I was drinking every day.”

Miller said he spotted White on a street corner in September 1965 and gunned him down with a .38-caliber pistol, uncertain whether White was actually responsible for the death of his friend, he told the publication.

“We were all drunk,” Miller says in the interview. “I was in a haze.”

For the murder, Miller served time in prison, where he turned his life around, eventually earning an accounting degree from Temple University.

He eventually got out of jail and went on to earn jobs with Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Company, Nike Basketball and the Trail Blazers.

But he remained haunted by what he had done before finally deciding in recent months to open up about his criminal past.

“If I could go back and undo it, I would absolutely do that,” Miller told SI. “I can’t. So all I can do is try to do what I can to help other people and try to maybe prevent this from happening to someone else.”

He first told his children about the crime nearly 20 years ago but continued to keep it a secret from other prominent figures of the sports world whom he regularly interacted with, including Michael Jordan, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Nike founder Phil Knight.

But this year marked a turning point for Miller, as he has come clean with his closest confidants over the past several months. He plans to tell the whole story in an upcoming book titled “Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom.”

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By Troy Warren

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