Larry Miller, the chairman of the Jordan shoe brand is opening up about his past. Ahead of the release of Miller’s book Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom, co-written by his daughter Laila Lacy, he opened up to Sports Illustrated about his life before he made it into the Nike boardroom.
As a 16-year-old in 1965, Miller shot and killed an 18-year-old man. He served prison time for the crime and expressed deep remorse for the shooting.
“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,” he said per PEOPLE. “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.”
Miller was a part of West Philadelphia’s Cedar Avenue gang back in 1965 when the incident occurred. Miller’s gang was looking for retribution from the rival gang, 53rd and Pine, who had killed one of their own. He shot and killed an 18-year-old man, identified as Edward White.
“We were all drunk,” Miller told Sports Illustrated of that night. “I was in a haze. Once it kind of set in, I was like, ‘Oh, s—, what have I done?’ It took years for me to understand the real impact of what I had done.”
Miller has opened up about his past in hopes to help incarcerated people and at-risk youth.
“If I could go back and undo it, I would absolutely do that,” he told Sports Illustrated. “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.”
Before the article was published on Wednesday, Miller decided to have private conversations with friends and colleagues including NBA legend Michael Jordan.
“I was definitely nervous about sharing with him, just because I have so much respect and love for MJ,” he said of the NBA great.
He admits he was “blown away by how positive the response has been,” and says even though it was a difficult decision he “feels the freedom now to be me.”