Michael Jordan, Roy Williams Condemn Racism in UNC's Black Lives Matter Video

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2020

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, from left, former coach Dean Smith, and former player Michael Jordan chat prior to a North Carolina men's professional alumni basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. The alumni game, featuring North Carolina's current NBA and other professional alumni is the kickoff event celebrating the 100th year of the Tar Heel basketball program. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Michael Jordan was one of several former University of North Carolina basketball stars who spoke out against systemic racism in a video released by the program Monday.

Jordan was the last to speak in the video, which was accompanied by a "Black Lives Matter" caption:

According to ESPN's Myron Medcalf, Jordan said:

"Systematic racism has to stop now. We must take the time to listen and educate our family, our friends, our children on social injustice and racial inequality. Black Lives Matter more now than ever before. We have to get this right, so please take time to educate yourself and improve the lives of many people, many Black people. Thank you."

Other former UNC players featured in the video were Wes Miller, Wayne Ellington, Tom Kearns, George Lynch, Theo Pinson, James Worthy, Tyler Hansbrough, Luke Maye, Justin Jackson, Sean May, Jimmy Black, Marvin Williams, Eric Montross, Donald Williams, Danny Green, Sam Perkins, Jawad Williams, Ty Lawson, Kennedy Meeks, Lennie Rosenbluth and Raymond Felton.

Current Tar Heels head men's basketball coach Roy Williams also offered his thoughts at the start of the video:

"Some of the greatest to play our game have been Black players, but here we are more than 50 years later and our country is still fighting systemic racism and police brutality against Black men and women. The North Carolina basketball program, our family, our current and former players believe Black lives matter, and it's critically important that we don't just believe it. We must stand together and loudly and clearly demand that we as a country and the world embrace the fundamental human right that Black lives matter."

Williams also discussed legendary UNC basketball coach Dean Smith making Charlie Scott the first Black scholarship athlete in school history in 1967.

Protests against racial inequality, social injustice and police brutality have taken place worldwide in recent weeks following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody May 25.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed when now-former officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee pressed against the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was facedown on the ground and handcuffed. Floyd said on numerous occasions that he could not breathe, but Chauvin kept the pressure applied.

Chauvin was fired, arrested and charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers on the scene—Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao—were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting.

Last month, Jordan and his Jordan Brand pledged to donate $100 million over 10 years to organizations "dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."