Why Michael Jordan Can 'No Longer Stay Silent' on Recent Police Tragedies

July 25th 2016

Laura Donovan

Basketball legend Michael Jordan has issued a chilling statement on "the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers" following several nationwide tragedies involving police officers and the black community.

In a piece for ESPN's The Undefeated, Jordan wrote that he "can no longer stay silent" regarding the "divisive rhetoric and racial tensions" in our country:

"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. 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."

He added that he will make a $1 million contribution to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to "help both organizations make a positive difference."

Jordan's announcement comes a few weeks after two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were killed by police officers. This also follows the fatal shooting of several police officers in Dallas during street protests over Castile and Sterling's deaths.

You can read his full statement here.