Retired basketball megastar Michael Jordan says he can no longer sit on the sidelines amid rising tension between minorities and police.
“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,” the five-time NBA MVP said Monday in a statement to ESPN’s The Undefeated. “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.”
Jordan said he was donating $1 million apiece to two organizations working for closer ties between authorities and the communities they serve.
The Undefeated on Monday said the first grant would go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which pushes for civil rights using the legal system.
The other contribution would benefit the Institute for Community-Police Relations, it added, which was launched in May by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“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.
“The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t 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,” the former Chicago Bulls star added.
SOURCE: Mark Hensch