Racism is still a topic in the US, unfortunately. After several years of fight and struggles, injustice and inequality are still part of black people’s lives. Recently, after several videos surfaced showing police brutality towards African Americans, this issue has been brought to the table again, with many people speaking out about their own struggles and their experiences as a person of color.
Following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, every NBA star from present and past has shown his anger with the situation and all the things black people have to live daily. The Black Lives Matter movement is getting more and more support by the day, as more people started to talk against racism and injustice for the black community.
NBA legend Michael Jordan was recently interviewed by The Charlotte Observer, where he shared his opinion on this whole matter, claiming that things can be changed with education.
“We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles,” Jordan told The Observer. “We’ve got to understand at an early age (that can’t be tolerated). Education is such an important part” of societal change.
MJ and his Jordan brand pledged to donate $100 million over the next 10 years to support organizations working for racial equality, social justice and greater access to education. For MJ, education plays a big role in this whole issue, as it is the way you can have good or bad people for society.
Rick Bonnell: What moved you to action to give $100 million?
Michael Jordan: “We have been beaten down (as African Americans) for so many years. It sucks your soul. You can’t accept it anymore. This is a tipping point. We need to make a stand. We’ve got to be better as a society regarding race.”
RB: What has to happen to change racist behaviors?
MJ: “Face up to your demons. Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities. Sure, it’s about bargaining for better policing, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles.”
RB: Which organizations get the $100 million? Where does that money go to address these issues?
MJ: “We haven’t yet figured which vehicles to utilize. But it’s first about making an effort. It’s not just (donating) money. It’s the act of calling on all of us to take a look at ourselves. That’s an important start.”
RB: How would you describe bias?
MJ: “Just because someone grew up in a slum doesn’t mean you should look at them as not being equal — so they, themselves, start seeing themselves as not equal. You should not feel you’re better than others because you grew up with more advantages.”
RB: Describe your emphasis on education …
MJ: “It’s education 110%. My parents always stressed that education as how you best bond with other people. Education is the best route for black people to better themselves. To compete to be the best you can be, you have got to be educated. If you look at this country, that helping hand (to get a college education) is the best chance to stand up on your own.”
RB: What’s your approach to philanthropy?
MJ: “If I’m giving $100 million, along with Jordan Brand, then we’re going to make this go in a way that makes a difference. And this —attacking ingrained racism, supporting educational opportunity — is a very necessary step in society.”
RB: You’ve contributed millions to hurricane relief and to build two Novant Health clinics in under-served neighborhoods. What do you hope to accomplish?
MJ: “This isn’t just about donations, writing checks. But those hospital (clinics) make a difference. I’m challenging people to effect change however they can.”
His Airness was and still is one of the most impactful athletes in the world of sports. His voice matters a lot and this kind of gesture won’t go unnoticed or without any good result. MJ knows something must change and he’s doing everything he can to turn things around. While his docu-series ‘The Last Dance’ was on air, he announced he was donating all his revenue to charity.
From Fadeaway World, we’d like to send a special thank you to Mr. Jordan and the Jordan brand for this contribution to improve the life of plenty of people. They are always there to help people when it matters the most when times are difficult. These last couple of days haven’t been easy; tension has increased in the US and these kinds of gestures are the ones that make things better for everybody.