MICHAEL JORDAN: ‘SILENT’ NO MORE
Why Michael Jordan’s public stand on race is such a big, big deal | Sam Laird
“I can no longer stay silent,” Jordan wrote in a first-person piece published by ESPN’s The Undefeated on Monday morning.
“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,” Jordan wrote. “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 said he plans to make $1 million donations to both the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Jordan’s own father was killed during a carjacking in 1993. After several false starts, ESPN launched The Undefeated earlier this year as a destination for sports and culture as viewed through the lens of the African American experience. That makes it a particularly poignant landing spot for Jordan’s big statement.
“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family,” Jordan wrote. “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.”
He ends the short piece with a dose of pragmatic optimism: “The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t 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.”
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