Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand pledge $100M in fight for racial equality, social justice: 'Black lives matter'

·2 min read

The Jordan Brand announced on Friday that Michael Jordan and the brand have pledged $100 million in the fight for racial justice.

The donations will take place over the next 10 years and go to organizations “dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education,” according to the announcement.

‘Black lives matter’

“Black lives matter,” the statement reads. “This isn’t a controversial statement.”

Jordan made the pledge after the 10th straight day of protests in U.S. cities following the homicide of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police. Jordan released a personal statement addressing Floyd last week.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan wrote. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”

Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand have pledged $100 million to advocate for racial equality. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand have pledged $100 million to advocate for racial equality. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Shift on social stances from Jordan’s playing days

Jordan’s taking social and political stances as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets that he largely declined to during his run to six championships and five MVP trophies with the Chicago Bulls.

Jordan was long quoted as saying “Republicans buy shoes too,” when he was criticized for declining to take a stance during a North Carolina Senate race between the black former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt and segregationist incumbent Jesse Helms in 1990.

He confirmed during the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” that he did make the comment among teammates. He also explained his decision to not endorse Gantt during the documentary.

“I’m not speaking out of pocket about someone I don’t know,” Jordan said of Gantt during “The Last Dance.”

It’s not like Jordan doesn’t have anything to lose as the owner of the Hornets and the ambassador of a titanic apparel brand. But the events of the last two weeks in the United States are creating a shift in how people talk about issues of race and the politics that surround them.

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