Retired NBA great Michael Jordan has broken his silence on the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, and the demand for justice that has sparked protests across the nation.
Jordan, who is often criticized for remaining publicly silent on issues of injustice involving the Black community, said that the death of Floyd struck a visceral nerve within him.
Via the Twitter account for the Charlotte Hornets — the NBA team for which Jordan serves as majority owner — the most-famous number 23 wrote:
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”
His statement continued, “I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. 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. Every one of us needs to be apart of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”
Fans of the six-time NBA championship winner took notice of the statement.
“You know the issue is resonating with more people than normal when people who almost never talk about issues such as this make statements about issues such as this…”
“Good to hear from the goat! He know that man was a fan and watched him on tv and bought Jordan’s! The country needed to hear that!”
“When the 🐐 (GOAT) speaks you know it’s real!”
Several major cities, from Minneapolis, Los Angeles to Atlanta, have experienced the destruction of rioters and looters tearing down storefronts and vandalizing state property.
Even those who have peacefully protested have been met with harsh police interactions and arrests. HBO “Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson was hit in the head with a police baton and was the target of their rubber bullets while livestreaming his involvement in a nonviolent protest.
Whether joined in protest or using their platforms to pass along petitions demanding justice for Black men and women, celebrities have begun to put their money where their mouth is. John Legend, Keri Hilson, Letoya Luckett and others each have shared organizations that are bailing out those arrested while protesting.
“Thanks for using your powerful voice.. #BlackLivesMatter”