michael jordan
credit: Instagram

Basketball icon Michael Jordan doesn’t often speak publicly anymore. However, due to recent events, he’s finally decided he can no longer stay silent. In his new essay written for The Undefeated, Michael opens up about how he feels about the latest tragedies:

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.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine.

[Tweet “”I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well” -MJ”]

We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. 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.

We’ve read a lot of celebrity statements over the course of the last few weeks — including Beyonce’s letter on her website. However we have to say, we find Michael’s essay particularly moving. Since he often doesn’t speak publicly, it seems even more impressive that he decided say something.

Additionally, Michael says in his letter that he is donated $1 million to both the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

We hope you decide to read the former athlete’s letter in full, which you can do here.

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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to started Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. She’s currently obsessed with Vanderpump Rules, lipstick, and her kitty Tom.