Carmelo Anthony, Michael Jordan are latest athletes to highlight race relations

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NEW YORK — Michael Jordan is the latest athlete to shed light on race relations in America.

Jordan said Monday he would be donating $1 million each to the International Association of Chiefs of Police's newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations, as well as the legal defense fund for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

This comes after New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony called on fellow athletes earlier this month to "step up and take charge" to help lead the way in creating social change.

Anthony posted a statement on his social media accounts as well as his lifestyle website.

"We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy," the statement said. "I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW."

Anthony held a town hall with teens and Los Angeles Police Department officers Monday to discuss relations between the two groups in an open way.

Jordan doesn't frequently use his celebrity to take a public stance on social issues. But he has a personal connection to this one: his father was gunned down by two robbers in 1993.

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," Jordan wrote in a statement on ESPN's Undefeated.

“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.”

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