CHICAGO – When it comes to statements, he typically lets his actions do the talking.
They spoke loudly when he was on the court for his Hall of Fame basketball career with the Bulls and Wizards. But rarely would Michael Jordan use his voice to make a major statement on social issues whether as a basketball player or his current role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
But that changed on Monday when Jordan spoke out about the recent shootings involving African-Americans and police, writing a one-page letter to The Undefeated to express his views on the subject.
“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,” said Jordan in the letter to 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 as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent.”
Jordan also has pledged to donate $1 million to a pair of organizations hoping to end the recent string of violence: The Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.