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Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand company will donate $100 million social organizations “dedicated to ensuring racial equality” the company announced on Friday.
In a joint statement, the basketball Hall of Famer said the funding would also assist organizations that assist with “social justice and greater access to education” over the next 10 years.
“The Jordan Brand is us, the Black Community,” the statement said. “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.”
Nike, which produces the Jordan Brand, is also committing $40 million over four years to support black communities, according to a memo CEO John Donahoe sent a memo to employees.
Donahoe’s note follows Nike releasing a moving ad last Friday, telling viewers not to “pretend there’s not a problem in America.” The drop of the video online came just as protests were beginning to occur in cities nationwide
Nike did not immediately return a request for comment.
Jordan’s donation comes days after he released a statement on the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota. Floyd died on May 25 after video footage showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck following his plea of being unable to breathe.
Chauvin, along with three other officers, have fired and charged in connection with Floyd’s death. The video footage caused an outbreak of protests throughout the country, renewing conversation about police brutality, social injustice, and lack of economic opportunity in black communities.
Jordan stood by protesters for “calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough,” the Charlotte Hornets owner said in his statement.
Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” called for CEOs to assist in helping underprivileged access better economic opportunities.
“There’s so many things going on, and I think it’s up to our CEO community to be a part of lifting that up,” he said.
Jordan Brand had its first-ever billion-dollar quarter last December. Nike stock closed the week at $102.71 per share.