michael jordan speaks out

michael jordan, the greatest basketball player ever and current owner of the charlotte hornets, released a statement earlier this week about the combined problem of guns, police and race relations in the united states.  jordan has been cautious to talk about social issues in the past, so his comments were widely reported in the media.

a pensive michael jordan
jordan said he can no longer stay silent.

mj explains

i was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so i am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. i know this country is better than that, and i can no longer stay silent. we need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

raise is the action of parents caring for and educating children until they are adults. it’s often used in passive voice (auxiliar verb be + past participle), as it is here. taught is the irregular past tense of teach. get worse means it is becoming a bigger problem. as of late is another way to say lately, recently.  ensure means guarantee, fair is related to justice and on the line means at risk.

jordan space jam
the opening scene of the movie space jam gives a glimpse of how michael jordan was raised.

jordan’s final observation is that

the problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.

won’t be solved is another example of passive voice, this time in the future.  no subject is mentioned, though it’s implied that american society working together is who will find a solution. foster means promote, develop.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

additionally, jordan pledged (promised to give)$1 million each to two different organizations with the aim (objective) of building trust (confidence, belief in each other) between the police and the communities they are responsible for. u can read the entire statement at theundefeated.com.

carmelo anthony talks about michael jordan speaking out
carmelo said it was briliant but also about time that jordan stepped up.

on the same day, nba all-star and u.s. olympian carmelo anthony of the new york knicks also brought attention to the problem through his participation in a forum called leadership together: a conversation with our sons and daughters.  the conference took place (happened) in los angeles and included various community leaders.  talking to the press after the event, carmelo reflected on what jordan said.

i thought it was brilliant and about time that he stepped up, said what he said. because at the end of the day, amongst us, he is our face. he is an african-american– a very powerful african-american, so for him to step up in the midst of these times right now, it was very big on his behalf. it’s not always about the money, but for him to step up and put his money where his mouth at, the timing was perfect.

about time expresses that jordan should have spoken before, his opinion on the topic was overdue. step up means do something important, take responsibility. at the end of the day means finally or most importantly. amongst (also among) indicates being part of a group. in the midst of is the same as in the middle of.  on his behalf refers to jordan.  it could be substituted with “of him”.

put your money where your mouth is an interesting choice of phrase here. usually it is used to say backup what u are saying. anthony is in fact impressed that jordan spoke out (give an opinion publicly) on the topic more than by the money he donated. timing is similar to sychronicity.

carmelo for usa basketball
melo is the most veteran player on the 2016 usa basketball olympic team (thearon w. henderson/ getty images)

is it important for famous athletes to speak out about social issues?  will carmelo anthony win his third olympic gold medal this summer? share your views under leave a reply


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