Michael Jordan joined coach Roy Williams and other North Carolina basketball luminaries in a video posted Monday condemning systemic racism and police brutality against Black people.
"Systematic racism has to stop now," Jordan said in the video. "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 Tar Heels -- among them James Worthy, Luke Maye and Sam Perkins -- echoed his message.
"We have to change," Wayne Ellington said.
"Speak out about what is happening in our country," Sean May added.
"My skin color," said Theo Pinson, "is not a weapon."
Multiple programs and coaches throughout college basketball have called for change following the death of George Floyd, who died after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than seven minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. Chauvin is currently in a Minnesota prison awaiting trial for second-degree murder. The three officers who were with Chauvin were also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
The North Carolina video starts with Williams recounting the impact legendary coach Dean Smith made by signing Charlie Scott, the first African American scholarship athlete in the school's history. Scott was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
"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," Williams said. "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."