At a time when all eyes are on Michael Jordan thanks to the Netflix documentary “The Last Dance,” the former NBA star is using his platform to speak out against racism and racial injustice.
And we hear him loud and clear.
Yesterday, Jordan acknowledged that we had reached a “tipping point” when it comes to racial unrest. In an exclusive interview with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Jordan shared his feelings in the midst of global protests against racial injustice and racism in response to the murder of George Floyd.
“We have been beaten down (as African-Americans) for so many years. 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,” Jordan told Bonnell.
He urged people to make a change in terms of racism and understanding what it means to be anti-racist. “Face up to your demons. Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities,” Jordan said. “Sure, it’s about bargaining for better police, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles.”
The powerful conversation comes just days after Jordan and Jordan brand announced a $100-million donation over the next ten years to combat racial injustice. The funds will benefit “organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”
Last week, Jordan’s parent company Nike also stepped up to the plate in the fight for racial equality with the release of a video that quickly went viral, called “For Once, Don’t Do It.” The video features a black background with white text that reads, “For once, don’t do it. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t be part of the change. Let’s all be part of the change.’
Nike also announced a donation of $40-million over the next four years on behalf of the Nike, Jordan, and Converse brands in support of the Black community in the U.S.