NBA legend Michael Jordan has announced that he will be donating $100m (£79m) over the next decade to help projects and organisations in the battle for racial equality and social justice.
It comes amid the backdrop of days of protests in the United States after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died when a white police officer knelt down on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Large demonstrations have also taken place overseas in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with hundreds of people gathering in London over the last few days.
In a short statement, the Jordan Brand said: ‘Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement.
‘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.
‘Today, we are announcing that Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand will be donating $100m over the next 10 years to organisations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.’
The basketball icon, widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of the sport, expressed his ‘pain’ and ‘outrage’ in the wake of Floyd’s death.
‘I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,’ Jordan said earlier this week.
‘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.
‘I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others.
‘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. ‘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.’
Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second degree murder, while colleagues Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
More than 10,000 people across the US have been arrested in connection with unrest following Floyd’s death.