Michael Jordan donates $2M to improve relations between cops and communities

Michael Jordan has returned to Paris to mark the 30th anniversary of 1985's Air Jordan One. Jordan Brand via Getty Images

Michael Jordan spoke out about racial tensions in the United States on Monday, and is donating $2 million to two charities to help improve relations between police and communities.

Jordan pledges to donate $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations.

The former Chicago Bulls player has been criticized for his silence on social issues in the past. Fellow Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently said, “You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights.”

Abdul-Jabbar also said that, in the past, Jordan chose “commerce over conscience.”

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Jordan was prompted to speak out on the recent police shootings and targeting of police officers because his father, James Jordan, was shot dead in 1993 at a roadside rest stop.

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“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 Space Jam star said.

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“I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well,” Jordan shared.

“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,” the athlete said.

Jordan was referring to the shooting deaths of men like Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, as well as the recent killings of five Dallas police officers.

Director Spike Lee supported Jordan’s decision by uploading a picture of the basketball player to Instagram with the caption:

“DO NOT SLEEP ON MJ- Michael Jordan releases statement on police violence, pledges donations.”

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Jordan’s statement comes after NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul spoke out against these recent events at the EPSYs this year.

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