In a note published on The Undefeated today, Michael Jordan spoke out against recent acts of violence against African-Americans and police officers, and revealed that he has made sizable donations to two organizations that work to combat police brutality and racial inequality.
In his note, Jordan writes that he feels he can “no longer stay silent” on the issue of America’s racial tensions, and hopes that “We can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.” As for the donations:
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. 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.
Jordan has never been known as a political activist, due in part to a second-hand quote—“Republicans buy sneakers, too”—that appeared in Sam Smith’s 1995 book The Second Coming. Speaking out directly about current social issues is a step onto a new path for Jordan, one that he will hopefully continue to walk down.