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Jordan breaks silence

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Talks about something other than shoes.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Michael Jordan finally spoke out on Monday about racial tensions in America in hopes of easing conflicts between blacks and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner announced he is giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

“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 said in a statement. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”

Jordan’s father was killed in 1993 in a botched carjacking in North Carolina. Daniel Green and his friend Larry Demery were convicted of killing 56-year-old James Jordan along US 74 and dumping his body in South Carolina.

Both were sentenced to life in prison.

The high-profile Jordan has been notoriously silent over the years when it comes to his opinions
on politics or social justice issues, which has drawn some criticism.

But he said Monday he “can no longer stay silent’’ on the issue.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,’’ Jordan said in the statement. “I know this country is better than that. … 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.’’

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