Michael Jordan in 2014
Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is speaking out on the shootings of black Americans, as well as the recent attacks on officers, issuing a statement today through The Undefeated in which he declares that he "can no longer stay silent":

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. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers—who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all—are respected and supported.

Jordan announced that he would be donating $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, with the goal of engaging communities and the officers who serve them in order to build trust and respect.

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“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country—a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities," Jordan continued. "The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

Read more at The Undefeated.