Never one to speak out on social issues, NBA great Michael Jordan decided to make a statement regarding the recent shootings involving African-Americans and police in several cities throughout the United States.
Jordan, the Bulls legends and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, says he’s donating $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan wrote for The Undefeated. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.
Alton Sterling (l.) and Philando Castile of Minnesota were killed by cops earlier this month.
“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers — who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all — are respected and supported.”
There have been a rash of police-involved shootings in recent weeks, with Alton Sterling and Philando Castlle being shot and killed by cops in Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Micah Xaxier Johnson, angered by those killings, ambushed police in Dallas during a rally earlier this month, killing five cops.
Five Dallas cops were killed in an ambush during a rally in that city following the police-involved shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.”
Daniel Green was convicted of shooting and killing Jordan’s father James in a 1993 carjacking in North Carolina. James Jordan was 56 at the time.
“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country — a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities,” Jordan wrote at the end of his statement.” The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”