Michael Jordan 'Deeply Troubled' at Racial Tension, Police Shootings
NBA star speaks out
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2016 2:00 PM CDT
In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, former NBA star and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, smiles at reporters in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – Michael Jordan is speaking out—and taking action—with regard to the social unrest in America right now. "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," the basketball legend wrote in a letter released to The Undefeated. "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."

Jordan also announced grants of $1 million each to Community-Police Relations (launched by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in May) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, both of which are working on improving relationships between law enforcement and the community. As The Undefeated notes, Jordan has been criticized in the past for not taking much of a public stand in terms of advocacy. His rep says that Jordan has always been committed to diversity, "but he’s always been very private and personal about many of these things." Click for more from his letter.