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Michael Jordan speaks out on police-community relations, donates $2 million

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CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 01: Owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, watches on during their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Time Warner Cable Arena on November 1, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — One of the greatest names in professional sports can “no longer stay silent.”

Michael Jordan released a statement “on the shootings of African-Americans and the targeting of police officers.”

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan wrote in The Undefeated.  “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”

The owner of the Charlotte Hornets and NBA legend wrote about the lessons he learned as a child, to love and respect people no matter their race and expressed frustration over recent racial tensions. Earlier this month two black man, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by white police officers, five officers were killed during an ambush in Dallas, and another three officers were killed in Baton Rouge.

“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent,” he said. He also thanked law enforcement officers who have protected him and his family.

Jordan announced he is donating $1 million each to two organizations he feels can make a difference in police-community relations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow,” he said. “But if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

You can read his full statement here.

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