The NBA playoffs got political on Wednesday night during a pre-game announcement that urged fans to call up Florida senators and demand their support for gun control.
“The Heat organization, the Boston Celtics and the NBA family also mourn those who lost their lives in the senseless shooting that took place yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,” the stadium announcer said prior to game five of the series.
“Our hope is that the families, friends, coworkers and loved ones of all those impacted by this tragedy will find the comfort and strength they need, as they carry on in honor of those whose lives were lost,” the announcer added, before leading the arena in a moment of silence for the 21 victims.
A moment of silence. pic.twitter.com/8Ycn1uqN0i
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 26, 2022
“The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws,” he continued. “You can also make change at the ballot box. Visit Heat.com/vote to register and let your voice be heard this fall.”
In a pre-game conference, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shared that he picked up his children from class after game one, and couldn’t imagine what it was like for the families involved in the tragedy to see police vehicles swarming the school.
“After continued events there’s a call to action,” said Spoelstra. “I think everybody is trying to figure out a way to be heard to force some kind of change from the people that can make change. I just really feel for all the families … but it just continues to happen.”
“I know what everybody is saying that there needs to be a call to action, and I think what this is forcing people to do, is just to figure it out,” he added.
We're playing with heavy hearts tonight. pic.twitter.com/PRlIuST55w
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 25, 2022
On Tuesday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose father was murdered in a 1984 shooting, blamed Republican lawmakers for mass shootings.