What's Going On With Michael Jordan's Eyes In 'The Last Dance'?

"Is anyone else concerned?"

ESPN's hit docuseries The Last Dance has reminded us all that Michael Jordan was, and remains, a living legend—but for some viewers, it's also sparked concern about Jordan's health. Viewers of The Last Dance have noted the yellow tone of Jordan's eyes in interviews conducted for the docuseries, speculating that it could indicate potential health problems. "Also, someone please check on Michael Jordan’s eyes," one person wrote. Another chimed in: "I, too, find his eyes concerning." Many other people on Twitter have expressed the same sentiment: "What’s going on with Michael Jordan’s eyes?"

Here's what his eyes look like:

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VICE spoke to an ophthalmologist, who of course couldn't diagnose Jordan or say whether his eyes were cause for worry without assessing him personally, but had some concerns. "Yellow eyes should not be ignored because they are a sign of something more going on," Dr. Val Phua said, adding: "Yellowish discoloration of the eyes may be more obvious in a dark-skinned individual compared with someone who is fair-skinned."

michael jordan eyes
Getty Images

And although The Last Dance is putting Jordan's eyes on show to a large audience, Express points out that "Jordan’s eyes have looked yellow for the better part of the past two decades." In other words, this is nothing new—which may be even more concerning.

Two potential conditions flagged by Dr. Plua that can cause yellow eyes like Jordan's are jaundice and pinguecula (the latter is defined by VICE as a benign growth). Given the length of time that Jordan's eyes have looked this way, jaundice has often been cited by fans (who are not, it should be noted, medical professionals) as the likeliest reason behind the yellow hue of Jordan's eyes.

paris, france   june 12  nba legend michael jordan attends a press conference for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the air jordan basketball shoe during the palais 23street basketball tournament at palais de tokyo on june 12, 2015 in paris, france  photo by pierre suugetty images
Jordan in 2015.
Pierre SuuGetty Images
michael jordan during the press conference launching the paris stop of his jordan europe tour 2006 photo by stephane reixfor picturecorbis via getty images
Jordan in 2006.
Eddy LEMAISTREGetty Images
professional basketball player michael jordan  photo by dave alloccadmithe life picture collection via getty images
Jordan in 1999.
Dave AlloccaGetty Images

Jaundice is generally a sign of something bigger going on; it can be caused by a range of problems, including hepatitis, liver damage, and bile duct issues. (It can also be caused by certain medications.) Basically, jaundice occurs when your liver isn't able to do its job properly.

That said, it's telling that Jordan's eyes have looked like this for so many years. If your eyes signaled health issues and you were one of the most famous and iconic men alive (one can't imagine that Jordan has missed the speculation about his eyes), it would be hard to avoid getting it checked out for two whole decades. At the very least, you'd assume that Jordan has gone for regular check-ups with his doctors and they would have flagged it as a concern. Whatever the reason behind Jordan's yellowing eyes, he almost certainly knows about it—the man has access to the best doctors and treatments on the planet—and is choosing not to share his private medical information with his fans, which is very much his prerogative.

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