Michael Jordan has long avoided taking public stands on civil rights or much else, preferring to let his body of work on the court and in business do his talking. Not everyone has been satisfied with his stance. Jordan has been derided by no less a hoops eminence than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for his reluctance to engage. Abdul-Jabbar has said Jordan made "unfortunate choices that he's got to live with," believing Jordan has an ethical duty to use his enormous influence to help frame the national dialogue. But Jordan never followed the outspoken paths of black athlete heroes before him like Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell and Kareem himself -- to mention just a few. Last November, Abdul-Jabbar said Jordan chose "commerce of conscience."
This week, however, Jordan entered the fray. He gave a $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. More significantly, MJ spoke out, publishing a letter in The Undefeated. "Raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background," Jordan writes that he is "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." Jordan laments the recent rise in divisive rhetoric and racial tension and reminds readers that "we live in the world's greatest country."The BEST SALES on Amazon NOW ]