Michael Jordan’s promised social-justice donations are starting to roll in

Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are making a massive donation to fight voter suppression.

On June 5, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand made a pledge to donate $100 million to fight for racial justice over the next decade, and today that campaign kicked off in a big way. Jordan and his brand announced a $2.5 million donation to combat Black voter suppression in the United States.

According to the Jordan Brand’s statement, the donation will be divided between three organizations: $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, $1 million to the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement, and $500,000 to Black Votes Matter. In light of the upcoming presidential election, voting is one of the most urgent challenges facing the Black community, so Jordan’s donation is going to be huge for these organizations combating systemic racism.

Jordan joins a host of other prominent athletes who have been on the front lines of the fight for racial justice over recent months. LeBron James and several other NBA players founded a voting group, More Than A Vote, which is currently helping to pay outstanding court fines being used to disenfranchise ex-felons in Florida. WNBA stars Natasha Cloud and Maya Moore will sit out the 2020 basketball season to focus their time on activism, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving donated $1.5 million to support them and other W players opting out the season.

Something about the Michael Jordan name is incredibly impactful, though, because he doesn’t have a history of being especially active for social justice causes. At the height of his career, Jordan declined to even comment during the Rodney King riots and he allegedly said, “Republicans buy shoes too,” after refusing to endorse a North Carolina Senate candidate who was running against a well-known racist.

Even though Jordan’s brand is still hugely successful, he seems to have moved past concerns about his own paycheck. $100 million is a pretty massive commitment, and now that he’s put the money where his mouth is, it means so much more. He also appeared earlier in the year in a video with members of the University of North Carolina basketball program, his alma mater, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Jordan is arguably the best-known player in the history of the NBA, so his voice is more powerful than just about anyone. By actually taking a stance and using his money to reject systemic racism, he is making huge strides for the movement.

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