NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is adding his voice to community leaders asking for peace in uptown Charlotte, after two nights of violent protests and vandalism that resulted in one protester being critically injured.
“It is more important than ever that we restore calm and come together, as a community, in peaceful demonstration and conversation and in constructive and non-violent ways, ” Jordan said in a statement released by the team.
“As part of the fabric of Charlotte, the Hornets organization is committed to working with civic leaders, our elected leaders and law enforcement to foster more trust, transparency and understanding so we can heal and grow together as a community.”
The uptown block south of the Hornets’ home turf, Spectrum Center Charlotte, was among the most heavily damaged by in the violence. Vandals smashed windows at the adjacent EpiCentre entertainment complex and looted stores, including a Hornets Fan Shop selling team memorabilia.
Hornets officials said extensive damage was done to the store and it will remain closed until further notice.
Jordan’s statement didn’t address that damage. But he did express hope for a full recovery of those injured during the two nights of violence. He also offered condolences to the family of the man whose death ignited the protests: Keith Lamont Scott.
Scott, an African-American, was shot by a Charlotte police officer Tuesday afternoon. The officer, Brentley Vinson, 26, is also African-American. Police have said Scott was armed with a pistol and posed a threat to the officer. A gun was recovered from the scene.
Jordan has stepped up his involvement in Charlotte community issues of late, recently donating money through the Hornets organization for school literacy programs, and giving $10,000 to help make up a cash shortage for the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials held in Charlotte in June.