WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Jordan has made another major donation, pledging $5 million to the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum on the National Mall.
Officials at the National Museum of African American History and Culture announced the gift from the basketball great Monday. The museum is set to open Sept. 24.
In recognition of the gift, the museum will name a section of its sports gallery after Jordan. He also donated a jersey he wore during the 1996 NBA Finals to the museum’s collection.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to support this museum,” Jordan said in a statement. “I also am indebted to the historic contributions of community leaders and athletes such as Jesse Owens, whose talent, commitment and perseverance broke racial barriers and laid the groundwork for the successful careers of so many African Americans in athletics and beyond.”
Museum Director Lonnie Bunch said the gift will aid the museum’s vision of exploring how black athletes changed sports and changed American society.
“We are extremely grateful to Michael Jordan for his game-changing support,” Bunch said in a statement. “His gift will enable our visitors to explore how sports were used to break barriers as a way to gain full participation in American society.”
Last month Jordan spoke out on racial tensions in America in hopes of easing conflicts between blacks and law enforcement.
The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner also announced he was giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust after several shootings across the country.
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