His Airness can do more than win championships. He also gives back.
Michael Jordan recently donated $5 million dollars to The National Museum of African American History and Culture. It’s the largest donation an athlete has ever given to the museum, and as such Jordan will have a section of the museum named after him.
MJ released a statement about the gift: "I am grateful for the opportunity to support this museum. I also am indebted to the historic contributions of community leaders and athletes such as Jesse Owens, whose talent, commitment and perseverance broke racial barriers and laid the groundwork for the successful careers of so many African Americans in athletics and beyond."
Interestingly, Jordan has a long and notable history of being silent on social issues, and has caught heat for it over the years. That’s only changed recently, especially in the wake of recent violence between police officers and black men.
But a few weeks ago, MJ finally spoke at length to The Undefeated, even half-acknowledging his previous lack of involvement:
“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers—who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all—are respected and supported.”
In that same article, Jordan announced a gift of $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations, and another to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. These donations were before and not related to the $5 million given to the Museum, raising MJ’s contributions to $7 million in the span of a few weeks.
“[I know] these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem,” Jordan said, but, “the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”
We can only hope other athletes, CEO's and entrepreneurs in the limelight will use their millions for something good. We solute you on your charitable soul Michael!