- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

NBA legend Michael Jordan waded into racial politics in America on Monday by issuing a statement on anti-cop violence and black men killed by law enforcement personnel.

Mr. Jordan announced on the sports website The Undefeated that he has donated $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He then wrote on racial relations, which “seem to be getting worse” in recent years.

“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. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well,” Mr. Jordan said.

“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. 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.”

The famous Chicago Bulls player and six-time NBA Finals champion has historically been reticent to speak on political issues. That changed with the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile just outside Minneapolis, and the Dallas cops killed by 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson.



“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change,” Mr. Jordan continued.

“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country — a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be 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.”

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