June 6, 2020 / 5:54 AM / a month ago

Michael Jordan announces $100 million donation to fight for racial equality

Former basketball player Michael Jordan speaks during a public memorial for NBA great Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

(Reuters) - Basketball great Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand on Friday pledged $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality.

The announcement came as protesters have taken to the streets in U.S. cities over systemic racism and police brutality, following the death last week of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while a white policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis.

“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement,” read a statement from Jordan and his Jordan Brand. “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.”

Jordan, a six-time NBA champion who led the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty in the 1990s, is a Basketball Hall of Famer who owns the Charlotte Hornets.

Earlier this week, Jordan voiced outrage over the Floyd incident, saying he was “truly pained and plain angry” and that he stood with those “calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by David Gregorio

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