Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who has long stayed out of tense, politically charged events, issued a statement to ESPN’s The Undefeated in which he calls for unity and compassion:
In an effort to spur change, Jordan is donating millions from his fiancial empire to organizations that look to build bridges between police and the communities they protect, as well as to the legal defense of those who might otherwise be disadvantaged in getting a fair outcome from the justice system:
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Jordan’s father, James Jordan Sr., was murdered in July 1993 while he napped in the car his son had recently purchased for him. Shortly thereafter, Jordan retired from the NBA for the first time.
Jordan famously stayed out of politics when he was a player, declining to endorse Democratic candidate Harvey Gantt in his 1990 campaign to unseat incumbent North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms. Jordan reportedly explained his decision with a phrase that’s stuck with him ever since: "Republicans buy sneakers, too."