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.”
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.
“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent,” Jordan told theundefeated.com.
“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.
“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.
“DO NOT SLEEP ON MJ- Michael Jordan releases statement on police violence, pledges donations.”