BASKETBALL’S ALL-TIME GREAT, Michael Jordan takes a stance on race issues tearing apart America
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.
Jordan manages to walk a line here, saying he is against violence both on African Americans in this country and the targeting of police officers, which few people could argue with. But it is notable that Jordan is speaking out.
Famous for the (perhaps apocryphal) line “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” Jordan has long stayed silent on political matters. While his actions as a community leader may have been under-reported, he was rarely comfortable speaking out publicly on matters of politics.
Here, he is taking a step forward as a public voice. His statements aren’t controversial, but his actions are commendable: He promises in the post to make “contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.”
Jordan made the decision to go public with his statement two weeks ago, according to a spokesperson, but delayed making it because he “did not want his announcement to take away the focus on the LGBT community.”