Michael Jordan Speaks Out Against Police Violence

Basketball legend Michael Jordan and his fiancée appeared at the main Palm Beach County courthouse Thursday morning to apply for a marriage license.
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. Atlanta won 104-92. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Michael Jordan, who has made millions for Nike and other brands and who has been criticized for not being vocal on social issues has decided to speak up about the issues of police violence.

“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,” Jordan writes in a one-page letter released exclusively to The Undefeated. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”

The iconic NBA star, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, and who spent 13 seasons with the Chicago Bulls, before retiring, then two more with the Washington Wizards in a brief return to the league, also decided to put his money behind his talk as well:

“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing,” he wrote. “My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s 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.”

Read his full statement on The Undefeated.