NBA legend and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan announced on Friday that he and the Jordan Brand will be donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.
"Black lives matter," Jordan Brand said in a statement. "This isn't a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country's institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people."
Nearly two weeks after George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, the country has had hundreds of protests in every city to fight against police brutality and social injustice.
"I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality," Jordan said. "We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. 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. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all."
The Jordan Brand was created in 1984, and instantly became one of the top shoe brands in the world.
"Jordan Brand is more than one man," the statement added. "We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and the damage of injustice. The will, the work, the excellence the world has come to know is the result of one generation after another, pouring their dreams into the next."
During Jordan's playing career with the Chicago Bulls, he tended to stay away from using his platform to talk about political, social and racial issues in the U.S.
In 2016, Jordan wrote a letter on ESPN’s The Undefeated saying that he “can no longer stay silent” and spoke out against the deaths of black men who had been killed by those in law enforcement.
"It's 2020, and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life," the statement said. "Yet as much as things have changed, the worst remains the same."