Michael Jordan has officially spoken out about the country’s “racial tensions” following the deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge earlier this month. In a letter released exclusively to The Undefeated, Jordan reflects on these recent tragedies and announces two major donations.
“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’s letter begins.
“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 writes. “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 says he has witnessed the “dedication” of law enforcement officers who protect his family, and therefore has “the greatest respect” for their service. However, he understands that not everyone shares this same feeling. Jordan also reveals in his letter that he is donating $1 million to the International Associate of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations, and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities,” Jordan writes at the end of his letter. He calls on people to work in harmony and “foster greater understanding” and positive change for what he believes can ultimately be “a more peaceful world.”
Read Jordan’s full letter here, via The Undefeated.
Watch people of all races get candid about their interactions with the police in the video below.