HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are more than just teammates and NBA superstars. They are fathers of sons and certainly not immune to the issues that impact the lives of others just like them, other fathers and sons.
That’s why the Heat superstars decided to speak up, speak out and speak on behalf of fathers and sons that have been affected by the recent shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Martin is the Florida teenager who was shot and killed by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, during All-Star Weekend as he was returning to a gated community carrying candy and iced tea.
Martin was unarmed and wore a hooded sweatshirt when he was killed. The Heat wore hooded sweatshirts in the tribute picture they took in honor of Martin and posted on Twitter and Facebook Friday.
The case has caused an international firestorm, with protests popping up nationwide the past few days, with protestors — many of them wearing hoodies — calling for action. Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense and has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating.
“This situation hit home for me because last Christmas, all my oldest son wanted as a gift was hoodies,” Wade told The Associated Press Friday from Auburn Hills, Mich., before the Heat defeated the Detroit Pistons. “So when I heard about this a week ago, I thought of my sons. I’m speaking up because I feel it’s necessary that we get past the stereotype of young, black men and especially with our youth.”
As a father and son myself, it does hit home.
And as an observer of the Heat, a team that has faced more than its fair share of ridicule for their actions on and off the court the past two seasons, this is one gesture that will draw nothing but respect here at the hideout.
They stood up when they certainly could have kept silent. Kudos to the Heat for taking their stand.
“We support our players and join them in hoping that their images and our logo can be part of the national dialogue and can help in our nation’s healing.”
— Official statement released by the Heat Friday.