NBA legend Michael Jordan doesn’t speak up too often on societal issues, but with recent distress between police and African-Americans throughout the country dominating headlines, the Chicago Bulls great broke his silence Monday. Not only did he speak up, but Jordan promised to donate money to organizations that work to develop trust between police and communities.
“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,” the six-time NBA champion wrote in a letter to The Undefeated today. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”
Jordan’s father, James, was shot and killed in July 1993 in North Carolina before his 57th birthday.
Michael Jordan also wrote in his Undefeated letter that he will give grants of $1 million each to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference,” he wrote.
After the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund was informed Sunday that Jordan would provide a $1 million grant, the organization applauded his efforts to restore and ensure trust.
“I am so pleased and honored that Michael Jordan will be making this donation to LDF in support of our policing reform efforts,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the organization, said in a statement today. “It is an act of true leadership that Mr. Jordan has chosen to use his stature to highlight the importance of this issue to all Americans and by taking a personal stance in support of organizations directly engaged in addressing this crisis in our nation. We are grateful for this support, which will allow us to deepen our engagement on the issue of policing reform at this critical time in our country.”