A spokesperson for NBA legend Michael Jordan shut down a viral rumor on Thursday that the billionaire is interested in acquiring a stake in Richard Petty Motorsports, the race team that currently employs NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
Wallace, a rising star in NASCAR and the only Black driver in its top-tier Cup Series, drives the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports. With Wallace set to become a free agent after this season, the rumor held that Richard Petty Motorsports was looking for new investors in a bid to entice Wallace to re-sign with the team and suggested that Jordan was interested in acquiring a stake in the NASCAR team.
“There is no truth to that rumor at all,” Jordan’s longtime spokesperson, Estee Portnoy, told FOX Business. “Michael Jordan is not considering an investment in NASCAR’s Richard Petty Motorsports.”
A spokesperson for Richard Petty Motorsports declined to comment.
Rumors that Jordan was interested in buying into the team have circulated for weeks on social media sites like Reddit and racing media outlets. Earlier this month, Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Andrew Murstein told Sports Business Journal that the team was in contact with several potential investors, including one celebrity who was not identified by name.
The rumor resurfaced this week on the Aug. 24 episode of “Door Bumper Clear,” a podcast from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s content firm Dirty Mo Media. Podcasters TJ Majors and Brett Griffin identified Jordan as the rumored celebrity.
Wallace already holds an equity stake in Richard Petty Motorsports and confirmed earlier this month that he has received interest from other teams. Murstein told Forbes that the team was willing to offer Wallace a larger equity stake in order to re-sign him.
Wallace drew national attention earlier this year after he successfully lobbied NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from flying at its events. In June, the NASCAR community rallied to his defense after a noose was found in his garage. The FBI investigated the case and determined it was not the result of a hate crime.
Jordan is the current owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and a longtime brand ambassador for Nike. He has a personal net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
While Jordan may not be interested in buying a NASCAR team, he is a self-professed fan of the sport.
“I love being a fan,” Jordan said in a recent interview with NBC Sports. “I still understand the sport, but in terms of ownership, I think I’m just gonna sit back and watch it and support from afar."