Michael Jordan, who has famously been silent regarding racial and social issues—during and after his career—has finally had enough.
The NBA legend provided a lengthy statement regarding the ongoing protests following George Floyd’s death.
“I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country,” said the basketball Hall of Famer and owner of the Charlotte Hornets Sunday. “We have had enough.”
A White Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin murdered Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in broad daylight as three other responding officers watched on. Although Chavin was charged last Friday with third degree murder and manslaughter, protests still raged on throughout the weekend.
“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others,” Jordan said. “We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality.”
In his statement, Jordan also encouraged the “peaceful expressions against injustice” from those marching in the streets. “Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change,” he added. “Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”
This statement come as a welcome surprise to Jordan fans as they’ve long criticized the MVP for his lack of action and support of issues impacting the Black community over the years.
In a recent episode of ESPN’s The Last Dance, Jordan explained why he remained silent, saying: “I do commend Muhammad Ali for standing up for what he believed in, but I never thought of myself as an activist. I thought of myself as a basketball player. I wasn’t a politician when I was playing my sport. I was focused on my craft. Was that selfish? Probably. But that was my energy. That’s where my energy was.”