Like He’s Done So Many Times Before, Michael Jordan Comes Through

Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan looks on during the first half between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men
Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan looks on during the first half between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men /

Michael Jordan hasn’t been affiliated with the Chicago Bulls since 1999, but what he did on Monday will be felt by the organization, the NBA and the world as a whole.

“I can no longer stay silent.”

Those were the words across numerous headlines after ESPN’s The Undefeated gained access to a statement made by former Chicago Bulls great and the greatest basketball player of all-time: Michael Jordan.

Jordan made an official public statement about the recent shootings involving the police and citizens across the United States; something he has refused to do over the course of not just his playing days, but his life as well. (He also included a couple chunks of change to help matters as well.)

Here’s Jordan’s full statement:

"“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.”"

When asked about Jordan’s statement, New York Knicks star (and Jordan Brand spokesman) Carmelo Anthony had this to say about Jordan:

Anthony’s right. Jordan is the face of basketball and he hasn’t played in a game for over 13 years. A voice like Jordan is as powerful as anyone when it comes to athletes across the country and across the world for that matter.

Next: Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James open the 2016 ESPY Awards with an impactful speech

After what Anthony did at the 2016 ESPY Awards with Chris Paul, LeBron James and new Bull Dwyane Wade, having Jordan making a public statement and two separate donations to help with important matters is a great sign for the future progress in these trying times.