Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand, a subdivision of Nike, are together donating $2.5 million towards supporting the Black vote in the United States, according to an announcement made on July 29th.
The donation will be split among three groups: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. ($1 million), the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement ($1 million), and the Black Voters Matter organization ($500,000). These were chosen because Jordan is looking for a swift impact, for his money to directly benefit black voters in critically underrepresented cities and states before the 2020 Presidential election in November.
“We understand that one of the main ways we can change systemic racism is at the polls,” said Jordan in a statement spread by his Twitter.
“We know it will take time for us to create the change we want to see, but we are working quickly to take action for the Black Community’s voice to be heard.”
This $2.5 million is just the first wave of $100 million pledged by Jordan and the Jordan Brand in June to be donated over the next decade to build up defenses against systemic racism by supporting social, economic, and educational justice in underserved communities.
“The $100 million commitment was just the start,” said Jordan Brand president Craig Williams. “We are moving from commitment to action. Our initial partners can directly impact the social and political well-being of the Black community. We will have a disciplined focus on social justice, economic justice and education, as the most effective ways for us to eliminate the systemic racism that remains in society.”
Critics are lambasting Nike for backing Black Lives Matter-adjacent philosophies while ignoring the forced labor and racism in their own supply chain, not unfairly. But $100 million will go a long way, and perhaps will convince their own upper echelons that making the right choice will, in the long run, be more profitable.