Michael Jordan, widely reputed to be NBA’s greatest ever player, has finally broken his silence on issues of growing racial and social unrest in the United States of America, donating $2m towards a solution to the crisis.
Jordan, the lone African-American majority owner of a franchise, put his views in a one-page letter published by ‘The Undefeated’ portal, a platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture.
The basketball legend bemoaned how he had lost his dad to what he said was a ‘‘senseless act of violence.’‘ He expressed worry at the killing of African-Americans whiles condemning the reprisal killings of law enforcement officers.
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.
‘‘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,’‘ Jordan wrote.
Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, as part of his contribution to solving the issue currently high on the national agenda, announced a million dollar in grants to two agencies working to curtail the current spate of attacks across the United States.
‘‘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.
“To support that effort, I am making 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,’‘ he added.
The Institute for Community-Police Relations is a body that works in the area of policy and oversight work focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing.
According to Jordan, the ‘‘donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement.’‘
The ace sportsman admits that his contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, but expressed hope that the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.
“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities,’‘ he noted.