Retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan made waves this morning by speaking out on police shootings of African-Americans, as well as the “cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers.” He added that he is donating $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s new Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the country’s oldest civil rights law organization.
In his statement, published at The Undefeated, Jordan writes:
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.
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.