‘We have been beaten down for so many years. It sucks your soul. You can’t accept it anymore,’ Jordan says
George Floyd’s police brutality murder has spawned a social revolution, demanding change. In an effort to fight discrimination and promote social justice, several celebrities and public figures have been majorly stepping up, from actively protesting across the country, to making generous financial contributions. This week, NBA legend Michael Jordan pledged to make an incredibly generous donation — $100 million over the next 10 years — to fight against racism, injustice, and educational inequality.
“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 stain of racism and the damage of injustice,” Nike’s Jordan Brand and Jordan said in a joint statement released Friday.
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Black lives matter. This isn't a controversial statement. We are you. We are a family. We are a community. Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand are committing $100 million over the next 10 years to protecting and improving the lives of Black people through actions dedicated towards racial equality, social justice and education. #JUMPMAN
The statement continues to read: “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. It’s 2020, and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life. Yet as much as things have changed, the worst remains the same.
“Black lives matter. 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.
“Today, we are announcing that Michael Jordan and 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.”
Jordan personally released a statement this week on Instagram promoting solidarity and also discussed his motivation in making such a large financial commitment to the cause in an interview with The Charlotte Observer.
“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,” he told the publication.
In order for racism to change, Jordan believes a number of things need to be done. “Face up to your demons. Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities. Sure, it’s about bargaining for better policing, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles,” he said.
While he still isn’t sure exactly where the money will go, Jordan is a huge proponent of education.
“My parents always stressed that education as how you best bond with other people. Education is the best route for black people to better themselves,” he continued. “To compete to be the best you can be, you have got to be educated. If you look at this country, that helping hand (to get a college education) is the best chance to stand up on your own.”