- Streeter Lecka/Getty
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 statement published on ESPN’s spin-off website 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 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.”
To support the cause, Jordan said he would make contributions to two organizations: the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and 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 organizations make a positive difference,” Jordan said.
Several police-related deaths have rocked the US over the past several weeks.
Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, was killed by police officers in Minnesota during a traffic stop, and a 37-year-old black man named Alton Sterling was shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while being held on the ground by the police.
Shortly after,amid peaceful protests over those killings, five police officers in Dallas were killed by a sniper. A man later fatally shot three officers and wounded three more in Baton Rouge.
Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, has been notoriously apolitical during his basketball career. His statement on Monday certainly marks a departure and is worth reading in full.