In a piece published by the Undefeated on Monday, NBA legend Michael Jordan said he “can no longer stay silent” about one of the most controversial issues of the day.
The former Chicago Bulls’ superstar offered his thoughts not only as a black American, but as a black American who lost his own father to violence.
“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. I’m saddened and frustrated by all the divided rhetoric and heightened racial tensions. 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. 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.”
The NBA Hall of Famer said he hopes Americans can come together through “peaceful dialogue and education to achieve constructive change.” He is now donating $1 million each to two organizations, the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
According to its website the ICPR is “dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through advocacy, outreach, education and programs,” while the NAACP Legal Defense Fund describes itself as “America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.”
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