"We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment and that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported," Michael Jordan says

By Rebecca Sloane
Updated July 25, 2016 07:35 PM
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Credit: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is lending his voice to the ongoing dialogue about race relations in America.

In a new statement on the black men that have been killed by police brutality in recent weeks, as well as the anti-cop violence that has broken out as a result, Jordan says he “can no longer stay silent.”

“We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment and that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported,” Jordan, 53, says.

Referring to the shooting deaths of men like Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, as well as the sniper killings of five Dallas police officers, Jordan shares, “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.”

“I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well,” Jordan continues.

The athlete is also taking tangible action, making two, $1 million dollar donations to the organizations of The Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which are focused around building trust and respect between two communities – law enforcement and American citizens – that are in need of support and unification.

“The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, 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,” Jordan concludes.

Jordan’s statement comes after current NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade spoke out against recent events.