Basketball icon Michael Jordan will donate $100m to fight racism

American basketball icon Michael Jordan and his Nike label Jordan Brand will donate $100 million (about R1.7 billion) over the next 10 years to protect and improve the lives of black people through actions dedicated towards racial equality, social justice and education, a release by Nike said this week.

This comes after the murder of unarmed American citizen George Floyd, who died at the hands of police officer Chauvin Derek in Minnesota on 25 May.

Video footage, which has led to outrage around the world, shows how Derek presses his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd pleads for mercy, with “I can’t breathe” among his last words before dying.

Protests ignited

The crime has stirred protests about institutionalised racism in the American police force not only in that country, but across the globe. Many US states in the past two weeks have been wracked with riots as citizens protest against what is seen as the alleged continuous murder of black Americans at the hands of white racists in positions of authority.

The six-time NBA champion announced this donation amid further unrest in the US in a joint statement posted on the Nike Jordan website.

“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people.”

Michael Jordan

Jordan Brand: More than one man

“Jordan Brand is us, the black community. Jordan Brand is more than one man. It has always been a family. We represent a proud family. We represent family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and damage of injustice.

“The will, the work, the excellence the world has come to know is the result of one generation after another, pouring their dreams into the next.

“It’s 2020, and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life. Yet as much as things have changed, the worst remains the same.”

Commitment to #BlackLivesMatter

b13206a7 jordan black lives - Basketball icon Michael Jordan will donate $100m to fight racism

“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people.”

$100 million donation    

“Today, we are announcing that Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand will be donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organisations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

Jordan Brand president Craig Williams said: “We must join forces with the community, government and civic leaders to create a lasting impact together. There is still more work for us to do to drive real impact for the black community. We embrace the responsibility.”

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