Michael Jordan donating $2 million to help address police-related shootings – USA TODAY
Current NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul andÂ Dwyane WadeÂ are among the many professional athletes whoÂ have spoken out aboutÂ the recent police-related shootings and the importance of social change in America, using their celebrityÂ and the professional sports platform to do so.
Now,Â Michael Jordan â who has been scrutinized for beingÂ tight-lipped with past political and social issues âÂ has broken his silence.
In a statementÂ shared via The UndefeatedÂ on Monday morning, Jordan said the following:
“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.
âI 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 â who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all â are respected and supported.
âOver the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.
âTo support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Policeâs newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relationsâ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nationâs 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. 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.
âWe are privileged to live in the worldâs greatest country â a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didnât happen overnight and they wonât be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.â
In response to Jordan’sÂ donations, Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the LDF, released the following statement:
âI am so pleased and honored that Michael Jordan will be making this donation to LDF in support of our policing reform efforts.Â It is an act of true leadership that Mr. Jordan has chosen to use his stature to highlight the importance of this issue to all Americans and by taking a personal stance in support of organizations directly engaged in addressing this crisis in our nation. We are grateful for this support, which will allow us to deepen our engagement on the issue of policing reform at this critical time in our country.â
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