A cause close to his heart. Michael Jordan penned an emotional post on Monday, July 25, about the recent shootings committed by and against police officers, and pledged $2 million to a police organization and the NAACP.
The NBA great, who has faced criticism for not being outspoken on social issues and politics, broke his silence for a cause that’s deeply personal to him. His father, James Jordan, was murdered in an act of gun violence in 1993.
"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, 53, wrote in a blog post for The Undefeated. "I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”
“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,” he continued. "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.”
In the post, the Charlotte Hornets owner acknowledged the “greatest respect” he has for the sacrifice and service of officers. However, he also recognized that many black Americans have had a different experience with police than his own and have experienced injustice.
The basketball legend announced in his post that he’s making contributions of $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which both focus on building trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they serve.
"The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow,” Jordan concluded. “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.”
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