Michael Jordan, the NBA Hall of Famer and owner of the Charlotte Hornets franchise, has given $1 million each to two organizations working to build trust between African Americans and law enforcement, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The gifts were awarded to the Institute for Community-Police Relations, which was launched in May by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The institute's work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing; LDF will apply its gift to its Policing Reform campaign.
In a letter published on the Undefeated website, Jordan said he was "deeply troubled by the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting of police officers." Jordan, whose father was shot in a late-night carjacking in 1993, added, "Over the past three decades, I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color, their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine."
"I am so pleased and honored that Michael Jordan will be making this donation to LDF in support of our policing reform efforts," Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of LDF, said in a statement. "It is an act of true leadership that Mr. Jordan has chosen to use his stature to highlight the importance of this issue to all Americans and by taking a personal stance in support of organizations directly engaged in addressing this crisis in our nation. We are grateful for this support, which will allow us to deepen our engagement on the issue of policing reform at this critical time in our country."