Michael Jordan on Monday released a moving, personal statement in which he spoke out against the recent wave of police-related deaths across the country.
“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,” Jordan wrote in a blog post on ESPN’s The Undefeated.
“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of colour 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.”
In order to support the cause, Jordan said he would make contributions to two organisations: the NAACP Legal Defence Fund, as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s new Institute for Community-Police Relations.
“Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organisations make a positive difference,” Jordan said.
Over the past several weeks, several police-related deaths have rocked the country.
Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, was killed by police officers in Minnesota while in his car. And in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, 37-year-old black man Alton Sterling was shot to death while being held on the ground by police. Then, in Dallas, Texas, five police officers were killed by a sniper amid an otherwise peaceful protest. In Baton Rouge earlier this month, a man killed three cops and wounded three more.
Over the course of his career, Jordan has been notoriously apolitical. His statement on Monday certainly marks a departure, and is worth reading in full.
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