“I can no longer stay silent”
Michael Jordan, the former Bulls MVP and winner of six NBA championships, released a statement on Monday concerning the rampant violence currently plaguing the United States. Published on intersectional sports news website The Undefeated, Jordan drew on some of his own experiences to voice his concern. In addition to drawing attention to the recent shootings of African Americans and the targeting of police, Jordan pledged to donate $1 million each to the NAACP and the Institute for Community-Police Relations.
The statement reads in part:
“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. 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. 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.”
The NBA great goes on to express his gratitude to the law enforcement community, while also admitting, “for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine.”
Jordan says he decided to speak out in the hopes of bringing all Americans together in “peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.”
Jordan closed his statement saying:
“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country—a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. 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.”