Be like Mike — unless he makes you want to drink Gatorade and keep playing basketball with a high fever, in which case being like Mike could kill you.
That may not be exactly what the Public Health Advocacy Institute is saying, but it's the gist. The group is upset over a Gatorade advertisement that's been running during NBA games, saying the ad encourages young athletes to be unhealthy.
In the ad, Michael Jordan is gutting his way through the 1997 NBA Finals, when he played through a fever that at one point reached 103 degrees. Former Bulls coach Phil Jackson gives a testimonial as footage of Jordan playing — and sipping Gatorade to rejuvenate himself — moves on the screen.
The Public Health Advocacy Institute warns that playing with the flu or a fever is downright dangerous, and says the ad should be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission because it "asserts that Gatorade was a key to [Jordan's] game-winning performance."
"PepsiCo [the maker of Gatorade] has put itself in the position of being a messenger of sports nutrition and health information to its core Gatorade product demographic of teens," the Public Health Advocacy Institute said on its website. "There is already enormous pressure on teen athletes to win at all costs by practicing during extreme heat and playing through injuries. The Jordan ad creates the distinct impression that so long as you are drinking Gatorade, you should not sit out a game or stay home when you are seriously ill with a fever."
The group asks that the Federal Trade Commission make PepsiCo do another ad that warns kids not to play when sick.
Maybe Jordan could shoot that one, too, and roll it into a pitch for staying at home in comfortable Hanes T-shirts.
Watch the original Gatorade ad below.