Nike executive Larry Miller recently admitted that he murdered a person when he was in a gang in Philadelphia as a teenager.
Miller, the Nike and Michael Jordan brand chairman, said in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated that he shot a man in 1965 when he was 16 years old.
He said he used a .38-caliber gun to shoot 18-year-old Edward White, who died on the spot.
“That’s what makes it even more difficult for me, because it was for no reason at all,” Miller, now 72, said. “I mean, there was no valid reason for this to happen. And that’s the thing that I really struggle with and that’s—you know, it’s the thing that I think about every day. It’s like, I did this, and to someone who—it was no reason to do it. And that’s the part that really bothers me.
“We were all drunk,” Miller added. “I was in a haze. Once it kind of set in, I was like, ‘Oh, shit, what have I done?’ It took years for me to understand the real impact of what I had done.”
Miller went to prison and wasn’t released until he was 30 years old. He spent his time in prison getting an education, earning a degree from Temple University in accounting.
Miller has kept this secret from friends and even his own children until recently. In the last few months, he’s told Jordan, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other Nike executives so they heard it from him first.
“I've been blown away by how positive the response has been,” Miller said. “It’s really about making sure that people understand that formerly incarcerated people can make a contribution. And that a person’s mistake, or the worst mistake that they made in their life, shouldn’t control what happens with the rest of your life.”
He talked to Sports Illustrated first before there were any leaks from his upcoming book, "Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom," which discusses the murder.
Miller said it was “a really difficult decision” to tell his story “because for 40 years, I ran from this. I tried to hide this and hope that people didn’t find out about it.”