Michael Jordan Speaks Out on Police, African American Shootings

AP Photo
AP Photo

For the first time, Michael Jordan has spoken out on the issue of the recent killings by and against police officers.  He released the following statement to the Undefeated, an ESPN website dedicated to issues of race and sports.

He writes:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Alan Miller

    This sort of statement I can back 100%.  When I side with others here criticizing the polarizing voices, it is not to discount the problem, but to point out that a message or action of polarizing anger alienates and divides.  You will attract other angry people and feel righteous, but you will not reach those whose hearts and minds you could otherwise change.  Michael Jordon’s statements and actions have great value.  Respect.

    1. Davis Progressive

      interesting how carefully crafted the message was but how radical the statement.  he first of all condemns the shootings on both sides.  that gives him coverage.  because what he puts his money behind isn’t nearly as even handed as it appears.  the naacp legal defense fund is obviously not blm but still it’s got a clear agenda.  the brilliant master stroke is he’s backing a police organization dedicated to reform.  he’s not backing the police unions.  he’s not even backing an officer relief organization.  no he’s backing a group that is leading the way on the inside towards reform.  and he’s managed to do it in a way that he gets the defender’s of the police to back him.  brilliant.

  2. Frankly

    Most prominent and successful black professional athletes denounce urban black sub-culture and indicate more support for law enforcement.    A few have come out, but most keep their opinions away from media attention since liberals and the media would work to destroy their careers after speaking the truth and stepping out of the political correctness line for what is expected of all blacks.

    It is sort of a new leftist thought and speech plantation for minorities of all stripes.  You better not leave the perimeter or they will take you down.   Only those already retired and out of the public eye will speak up.

      1. Frankly

        I agree.   God we need better leaders in the black community.  They are out there, but they would face the wrath of all those that profit from the perpetual victim status.   The biggest fear of those that profit from racism is that all races are fully integrated.  They will stop at nothing to prevent it.

    1. Davis Progressive

      you too have seemed to have missed the point of what he’s doing – he’s not supporting law enforcement, he’s supporting a law enforcement reform group.

    2. Tia Will


      It is sort of a new leftist thought and speech plantation for minorities of all stripes. “

      Oh for heaven’s sake !  Can you honestly not ever contemplate any issue without seeing it in terms of how the “evil” left will behave.

  3. Dave Hart

    I am quite confidant that he supports BLM, but they actually don’t need cash contributions.  I agree his communication tactics are shrewd while honest.

    1. South of Davis

      Dave wrote:

      > I am quite confidant that he supports BLM

      It was bad enough with Tia and Frankly always telling us what other people think, now we have Dave telling us what groups other people support…

  4. tribeUSA

    Yes, very good and statesmanlike statement from Michael Jordan. Perhaps we can all agree that there are some types of police reform that would be positive and worth supporting (more teaching of de-escalation techniques, more community outreach to build better communication and trust, etc.).

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