One of America's most famous athletes just placed himself in the center of one of America's biggest issues.
In a heartfelt essay for The Undefeated, NBA legend Michael Jordan opened a conversation around the recent news of police brutality and killings of police officers. Jordan — who has long received criticism for remaining neutral or quiet on major political issues — decided it was time to insert his voice into a sea of others.
But he didn't just write some words ... he also some wrote some checks.
The 53-year-old made two separate $1 million donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Institute for Community-Police Relations, which is part of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"The Institute for Community-Police Relations' policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing," Jordan wrote. "My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation's oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement."
Jordan, whose father was killed in a drive-by shooting, said his parents raised him to respect all people, regardless of their background or race.
"I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late," he said. "I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent."
He simultaneously expressed gratitude for the law enforcement that keeps him safe and anger for the young African-American men who have died at the hands of police officers. Jordan joins a growing and resounding group that is steering away from divisiveness and doing its best to build bridges between America's communities.
Last week, the Wichita Police Department worked with Black Lives Matter activists to change a protest into a community barbecue, which several attendees said did more for community relations than anything they could remember.
Hopefully, Jordan's neutral and productive actions inspire others to take similar actions.
Cover image: lev radin / Shutterstock.com