Michael Jordan joined countless athletes and celebrities Sunday in speaking out against police brutality, as protests and riots continue to engulf the country following the death of George Floyd.
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration,” the NBA legend said in a statement. “I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”
Jordan, 57, mourned the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck after Floyd was suspected of spending a counterfeit $20 bill.
Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He also was fired by the police department, along with three other officers present at the scene.
“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. 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 systematic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”
Jordan, who was often criticized for steering clear of social issues during his Hall of Fame career, took a stand against police violence in 2016, writing, “I can no longer stay silent” in a piece for The Undefeated website.
“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,” Jordan said at the time.