Michael Jordan Breaks Silence On Police Shootings, Calls For Peace
Basketball legend Michael Jordan has an infamous history of staying quiet in the wake of social issues. However, it seems as if he has finally reached his breaking point. After the uprisings following the police involved deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as well as the fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Jordan has decided to donate $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police's Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in hopes of fixing the country's growing problem.
In a lengthy statement published in The Undefeated, the former basketball star begins by saying, "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."
He continued with, "“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 went on to highlight the fact his experience with law enforcement may differs from others, but he has decided to "speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change."
Although Jordan has spent majority of career in silence regarding social and political issues, it by no means makes him unable to understand the pain they cause. In 1993 his father, James Jordan, was shot and killed in a car jacking in North Carolina. In an effort to severely decrease the amount of people who have to unjustly lose their loved ones to senseless violence, he is taking a major stand and is calling for us to all stand together.