Sport

Michael Jordan joins calls for action on racism after George Floyd killing

Michael Jordan joins calls for action on racism after George Floyd killing

Michael Jordan, who was notably silent on racial politics during his legendary basketball career, has joined a growing cast of sporting personalities calling for change after the death of George Floyd.

Jordan released a statement on Sunday as often-violent protests spread in cities across the US after Floyd, a black man shown on video gasping for breath while handcuffed as a white policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, died.

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The incident has triggered demands for change and justice over police brutality and racism.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” wrote Jordan, as he called for continued peaceful protests.

“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 colour 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.”

NBA stars Tobias Harris of Philadelphia 76ers, Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana Pacer and Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown took part in protests over the weekend.

Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers kneels for the National Anthem in 2016.

LeBron James was among the NBA stars to speak out in recent days on social media while other American sports people, including former NRL quarterback Colin Kaepernick - who was dumped from the league in 2016 for protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem before games - did likewise.

Tennis player Serena Williams tweeted Nike’s powerful ’Don’t Do It’ video along with the message: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America”.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton posted BlackLivesMatter to his 5.7 million Twitter follows, which featured a video of a young black American girl in tears about inherent racism in society.

He also criticised the “white dominated sport” of motor racing for its silence on the issue.