Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand, the sneaker company that bears his name and iconic logo, pledged to contribute $100 million to organizations fighting racial and social injustice over the next decade.
“The Jordan Brand is us, the Black Community,” a statement posted on Twitter begins. “Jordan Brand is more than one man. It has always been a family. We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the strain of racism and the damage of injustice.”
Jordan, who also is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, has been criticized for declining to make political stands — the quote “Republicans buy sneakers too” being a large part of his off-court legacy. Jordan addressed the quote recently in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance,” saying it was an off-handed quip.
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. 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,” he said in the statement. “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. 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.”