Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan has made a rare political statement after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has led to protests across the US . Jordan, whose final season with the Chicago Bulls was the subject of recent documentary The Last Dance , wrote a statement released on the Twitter account of the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA team that he owns. “I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” he wrote. “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 answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn out backs on senseless brutality. pic.twitter.com/PJpdCkaIKM — Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) May 31, 2020 “My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice,” he ended. The statement was reposted on the Jordan sportswear brand account, which had also posted a Nike advert encouraging activism on Friday with the message “Be a part of the change”. Be a part of the change. #JUMPMAN pic.twitter.com/wtxsv7Jhwg — Jordan (@Jumpman23) May 29, 2020 Jordan’s famous line that “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” was one of a number of reasons why he was criticised for not taking a political stand during his NBA playing career. That comment, which Jordan has insisted was a joke, was made during the 1990 North Carolina senate race between African-American Democratic candidate Harvey Gantt and incumbent Republican Jesse Helms. However, Jordan did donate to the Gantt campaign, he said in The Last Dance . China buys sneakers, too – why NBA and players cannot escape politics “I do commend Muhammad Ali for standing up for what he believed in,” Jordan said in the ESPN-Netflix series. “But I never thought of myself as an activist. I thought of myself as a basketball player.” Since retiring from the game, Jordan has become more outspoken, including a 2016 statement against the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police. “I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,” Jordan said in the statement. Why Doesn’t America Love US!!!!!????TOO. ♂️♂️ #HeadHighandStayStrong #WeAllWeGot — LeBron James (@KingJames) May 31, 2020 “I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of colour 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. “Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognise that for many people of colour their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. “I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change. First professional hat trick . A bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change. We have to come together as one & fight for justice. We are stronger together! ️ #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/ntOtwOySCO — Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) May 31, 2020 Jordan also donated US$1 million to the NAACP and organisations improving relations between the African-American community and police. Elsewhere on Sunday, LeBron James and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers squad all posted a message on social media. “Why Doesn’t America Love US!!!!!????TOO,” it read. James had posted a picture of Floyd being knelt on by police officer alongside a photo of Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the national anthem with the caption “Do you understand NOW!!??!!??” :D https://t.co/uBEHFKXUAt pic.twitter.com/jWQa1M3cvd — NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2020 Tennis star Naomi Osaka posted a photo of Kaepernick as a response to an NFL statement on Floyd’s death along with the caption, “: D”. The NFL statement drew widespread condemnation because of the league’s treatment of Kaepernick who began his anthem protest in 2016 and was not picked up as a free agent. He has not played in the NFL since 2016. Osaka posted several other messages to her social media over the weekend. “Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all,” read one. “It’s funny to me that the people who wanna wear chains, blast hip hop in the gym, attempt to get dapped up, and talk in slang are suddenly quiet right now,” read another. Three faces of protest as #Bundesliga footballers Marcus Thuram, Jadon Sancho and Weston McKennie show their support for #GeorgeFloyd this weekend pic.twitter.com/Iqb86QHMeZ — AFP_Sport (@AFP_Sport) May 31, 2020 Footballer Jadon Sancho described his first professional hat-trick as a “bittersweet moment” on Twitter. In the German Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund scorers Sancho and Achraf Hakimi both revealed undershirts with the message “Justice for George Floyd” on them during their goal celebrations in a 6-1 win over Paderborn on Sunday. Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram celebrated his goal by taking a knee in the style of Kaepernick, while Schalke’s Weston McKinnie wore an armband with the message “Justice for George”.