Michael Jordan, ‘pained and plain angry,’ joins call for reform after death of George Floyd

Michael Jordan joins call for reform after death of George Floyd

Enough is enough, Michael Jordan said Sunday.

The Basketball Hall of Famer added his voice to those expressing grief and anger over the death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis, saying in a statement that he was “truly pained."

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“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan said. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”

Floyd, 46, a black man, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd’s death has sparked protests and violence in cities nationwide.

Chauvin was fired Tuesday and charged three days later with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene were also fired but have not been charged.

Floyd, like Jordan, played basketball in college. The Houston native played at South Florida Community College in Avon Park, Florida, from 1993 to 1995. Jordan, played at the University of North Carolina before embarking on an NBA career in which he won six titles with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan now owns the Charlotte Hornets franchise.

In his statement, released through the Hornets and also posted on Twitter, Jordan said he did not “have the answers" but urged people to listen to one another.

“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 systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”

Jordan also added his condolences to Floyd’s family and others impacted by racism.

“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice,” Jordan wrote.

Earlier Sunday, another basketball Hall of Famer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. The former NBA center wrote that racism in America “is like dust in the air.”

“It seems invisible -- even if you’re choking on it -- until you let the sun in.,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers also released a statement, saying that “we have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain,” ESPN reported.

“This isn’t an African-American issue. This is a human issue," Rivers said in the statement." Our society must start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and do the right thing. Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Now is the time to speak.”

NBA legend Michael Jordan added his voice to the chorus of athletes calling for reform after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
NBA legend Michael Jordan added his voice to the chorus of athletes calling for reform after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)