Just days after the horrific killing of George Floyd took place, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand revealed that they were donating $100 million to organizations that support racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.
In a recent interview with The Charlotte Observer, Jordan spoke on racism and why he decided to donate the funds. “We have been beaten down [as African-Americans] for so many years,” he told the outlet. “It sucks your soul. You can’t accept it anymore. This is a tipping point. We need to make a stand. We’ve got to be better as a society regarding race.”
“Face up to your demons,” he stated, referring to what has to happen to change racist behaviors. “Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities. Sure, it’s about bargaining for better policing, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles.”
The six-time NBA champion also said that he doesn’t specifically know which organizations the money will go to yet, but says it’s about making an effort. “We haven’t yet figured which vehicles to utilize,” he said. “But, it’s first about making an effort. It’s not just [donating] money. It’s the act of calling on all of us to take a look at ourselves. That’s an important start.”
A week after the killing of Floyd, Jordan released a statement saying that his death made him feel “deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry.”
“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration,” he said. “I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”
“Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change,” he continued. “Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all. My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice.”