Michael Jordan explains why he's taking stand on social justice issues now: 'This is a tipping point'

Michael Jordan was notably quiet when it came to social justice issues during his time as the star in the NBA – the complete opposite of players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

Over the last week, Jordan has released statements on the death of George Floyd and pledged $100 million to racial equality. Jordan told the Charlotte Observer on Friday the time is now to try and make a change.

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“We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles,” he told the newspaper. “We’ve got to understand at an early age (that can’t be tolerated). Education is such an important part of societal change.”

He added: “We have been beaten down (as African Americans) for so many years. It sucks your soul. You can’t accept it anymore. This is a tipping point. We need to make a stand. We’ve got to be better as a society regarding race.”

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Jordan was also asked what has to happen for people to change their racist behaviors.

“Face up to your demons. Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities. Sure, it’s about bargaining for better policing, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles,” he told the Charlotte Observer.

In the days after the death of George Floyd, Jordan supported the call for an end to systematic racism.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” he said. “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.”