Family of man murdered by Nike executive Larry Miller hits out at his book which never mentions victim’s name

Edward White’s family say they were blindsided by Larry Miller’s decision to speak out five decades on from killing

Rachel Sharp
Saturday 13 November 2021 20:51
<p>Larry Miller opens up about the murder in his new book due out in January </p>

Larry Miller opens up about the murder in his new book due out in January

The family of the man murdered by Nike executive Larry Miller has hit out at his new book where he confesses to the crime but fails to mention the victim’s name.

Edward White’s son Hasan Adams, who was just eight months old when his father was shot dead by Mr Miller, told the New York Times he didn’t even know who his dad’s killer was until the sports boss publicly revealed his secret last month.

He said it was “mind blowing” to learn that the man who killed his father on his way home from work was “a wealthy and successful businessman and he’s writing a book”.

The 56-year-old, who said his family found it too painful to speak of the murder, said he choked up trying to tell his wife, saying: “I was scaring her”.

Mr White’s family said Mr Miller has never reached out to them about what happened and that they weren’t given any warning that he was about to speak out more than five decades on from the killing.

Instead, they were left to stumble across his interview in Sports Illustrated in October, where he shared his secret ahead of the release of his tell-all memoir Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom, out in January.

The family criticised Mr Miller’s decision not to even name his victim in the book, referring to him as “another Black boy”.

Family members said they want Mr White’s name to be added to the final version and some sort of reparations for his death such as a formal apology or meeting, a scholarship set up under his name or financial compensation to the victim’s children from the book’s profits.

“You know his name, give him that respect, especially since you took his life,” Mr White’s great-niece Mariah Green told the New York Times.

Mr Miller, the chairman of Nike’s Jordan brand, revealed he had shot and killed 18-year-old Mr White back in September 1965 when he was 16.

Mr Miller, who is now 72, was in a West Philadelphia gang called Cedar Avenue at the time and that a member of his crew had been stabbed to death earlier that month by members of rival gang 53rd and Pine Streets.

He said he had gone out on the night of 30 September with fellow gang members looking to seek revenge on members of the rival gang.

Mr Miller said they were “all drunk” and he was “in a haze” when they came across Mr White.

He shot Mr White in the chest and left him for dead.

Mr Miller admitted that he didn’t even know for sure if Mr White was affiliated with the rival gang.

Mr White’s family told the New York Times he wasn’t in a gang and simply “got shot going home” from his job at a diner.

The Nike executive said he joined the Cedar Avenue street gang at the age of 13 and was “just a straight-up gangbanger, thug” by 16.

He was convicted of second-degree murder and served four and a half years in a young offenders’ institution for Mr White’s murder.

Mr Miller later turned his life around before climbing the corporate ladder, becoming the president of the NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers before rising up the ranks at Nike.

He kept his past a secret from his colleagues and friends but carried the guilt with him all these years, he said.

"If I could go back and undo it, I would absolutely do that," Mr Miller said.

"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."

He told Sports Illustrated he wanted to reach out to the victim’s family.

While the 72-year-old has been praised for speaking out, Mr White’s family said they were left blindsided by his actions and haven’t heard from him at all.

They criticised the lack of mention about Mr White or his life in the book and have contacted the publisher William Morrow.

The 18-year-old was set to marry his girlfriend Josephine Hobbs just months after he was killed.

The couple had an infant son – Mr Adams – together and Ms Hobbs was pregnant with their daughter Azizah Arline.

Ms Arline, who never met her father, told the New York Times her mother never “got over that trauma” and was so distraught that she tried to climb into her fiance’s grave at the funeral.

She dropped out of nursing school to raise their children and has repressed much of what happened.

“It changed the entire pattern of her life,” said Ms Arline.

She added: “I never met the man. That’s not fair.”

Neither Mr Miller nor William Morrow responded to the New York Times’ requests for comment.

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