Basketball legend Michael Jordan weighed in on the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in a statement shared by his publicist on Twitter, saying that he is “deeply saddened” by what he has seen in America in recent days.
“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration,” the former basketball player said in his statement. “I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”
Jordan seemed to be referring to the actions taken by many who have rallied in the streets protesting police treatment of African Americans like Floyd — many of whom never have their story caught on video. Jordan admitted that he did not feel he had the answers, but said that those wishing for change should take heart in the fact that there has been a powerful show of force for their mission.
The basketball icon went on to say that he hopes those demonstrating will do their best to show compassion but “demand accountability” and never ignore the injustices that brought on this display.
“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.”
Jordan called on his fellow Americans to “put pressure on our leaders to change laws” or else make the changes with their votes.
“Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”
Jordan is the most recent in a string of high-profile figures to speak out on the death of Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old African American man who died in police custody one week ago. While many were appreciative of the star’s comments, the majority of those who responded to the statement seemed to feel it was too little too late, if not completely ineffective.
One commenter noted that he didn’t mention “police” at any point in his comments, and another said that his statement was “about protecting Michael Jordan” versus working for a greater cause. Many used the hashtag #RepublicansBuyShoesToo, seeming to indicate that fear of monetary loss was holding the former basketball player back.
On Friday, Jordan made a nod toward the issue when he shared Nike’s new ad campaign, which The Inquisitr previously reported on.
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) May 29, 2020
The company took its “Just Do It” slogan and turned it on its head, saying “Don’t Do It” when referencing those who have turned a blind eye to racism and prejudice.