President Obama may be on his way out of the Oval Office, but before he passes the keys over to Donald Trump, he is set to honor Michael Jordan and 20 other people with the presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor awarded by a sitting president.
Other recipients are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bruce Springsteen, actors Tom Hanks and Roberto De Niro, retiring Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play announcer Vin Scully, and Ellen DeGeneres among others.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our highest civilian honor. It’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have an opportunity to change this country for the better,” President Obama said in a statement.
“From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”
According to the Charlotte Observer, criteria for the award is “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other public or private endeavors.”
Jordan, who has made millions of dollars worth of donations this year in an effort to reform social injustices, and the 21 other recipients have been invited to the White House on November 22nd to receive their medals.