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Winderman: Wade, Heat, could no longer keep silent on Trayvon Martin

Mar 23, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

Miami Heat hoodie photo

Civic activism tends to be muted in the NBA to almost the same degree as political activism.

As Michael Jordan previously and famously noted during his playing days, sneaker consumers come in all shapes, sizes, colors and political affiliations.

But to Dwyane Wade, when civic activism turned to parental activism, he no longer could remain on the sideline.

So Friday, before the Heat left for practice in advance of their game against the Detroit Pistons, the All-Star guard took to Twitter and Facebook and took on the Trayvon Martin case. It also was when he remembered an unpublished photo from a previous publicity shoot.

So there, on Twitter and Facebook, was Wade in a hoodie. Just like unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was when he was gunned down a month ago in Central Florida while returning from a convenience store armed only with ice tea and Skittles.

By the time the Heat had returned to their hotel from the shootaround at the Palace of Auburn Hills, a photo of the entire team in hoodies had gone viral.

It has been nearly a month since Martin was gunned down. To some, it already is late in game when it comes to justice, or injustice if you will.

For Wade, though, it was acting at the right moment in the right way.

“I only start doing something when I find out more information on it. Early on, I didn’t hear the [911] call, I didn’t have a lot of information. So I wasn’t going to just jump into it,” he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

But once he wrapped his mind around the incident, his heart followed.

“I’m a father,” he said. “It’s support of the tragic thing that has taken place. No matter what color, race, we’re all fathers.

“When you think about what that family’s going through, it hits you hard and it hurts your heart to think about it. Just anything you can do, obviously we can’t bring him back, but anything you can do to get behind and support is what we’re doing.”

Heat teammates followed with their own messages on Twitter.

While the NBA has not been like the NFL when it comes to the degree of limiting non-sport dialogue, it will be interesting, now that President Obama has addressed the issue, to see where the debate goes in the NBA.

And what forms it takes.

Friday, Wade and his Heat teammates decided it was time to engage social media. As a team from Florida, it is an issue that hit home.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

  1. mikeewright7 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Good Job D.Wade, hopefully justice will be served…
    Coming from another Father its just a sad thing to hear,
    Damn stop the violence!

  2. n2thaizzo - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    First time, and probably the last time, I give the Heat thumbs up for something they did. Nice to see public figures showing support in the face of this tragedy.

  3. dirtydavis - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Kony 2012

  4. bearsstillsuck - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I’d rather athletes just be athletes like mj, but I can’t blame them for voicing their opinion either.

  5. cup0pizza - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Cool gesture.

  6. lmoneyfresh - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Kudos to the Heat for doing this. I’m no fan of them as a whole, but this was an admirable, touching gesture made to bring light to an awful crime that has gone unpunished.

  7. bigdell - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Good job, D.Wade. never hesitate to speak out for the right thing.

  8. southbeachtalent - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Truly a sad story…

    We are in 2012 right? Ridiculous…..

  9. qdog112 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Every American (white, black, etc.)should be vocal and take a stand. (yes including and especially the high-profile people who have a platform) Do ya hear me Michael and Tiger?

    To remain silent means you agree with with it.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    It must hurt everyone north of Boca Raton to see the Heat doing something this cool, this appropriate, this important, and quite frankly; this typical. The Heat organization and players are all class, all the way (except for one poorly planned/executed press conference in July 2010, that is).

    But since I’m among the biggest Heat supporters, let me just take a moment to say the joke that all of you Heat Haters want to say………

    Haters: “I thought the Heat would only support the cause of someone who choked to death. hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!! Derrick Rose Rules! LeBron will never be MJ! blah blah blah bla blah.

    There you go. Now you know how stupid you sound.

    RIP Trayvon
    Let’s Go Heat!

  11. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Just play ball. I don’t care what Wade, James, or LeBron think about anything other than basketball.

    • mikeewright7 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      “Just play ball. I don’t care what Wade, James, or LeBron think about anything other than basketball.”

      maybe its me but, do anybody else see something wrong with this?
      #Dumb

    • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      Since when are athletes, actors or whoever not allowed to have an opinion on social issues? If you don’t want to hear what they say, no one is forcing you to listen.

      I for one thing it’s great when celebrities get behind causes like this. It raises awareness and gets more people to want justice.

      • bdeviled11 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        Soooo…. just the ones you agree with, or all issues?

      • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM

        I’m for people speaking about whatever they want to speak about. I like it when athletes act like real people and have opinions and aren’t just prepackaged robots who never say anything worthwhile.

  12. ike301 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    @surly1n1nd1anapol1s

    Keep your mouth shut. If this were your child, you would welcome such a gesture.

  13. thebigkahuna23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    This is why you need to take a test or some sort of mental evaluation before you buy a gun.

  14. dachozen1 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    It’s good that athletes have a voice. I like to see when they use their fame to influence positive change. There are a lot of people who dont have a stage or platform to speak. People who want them to be robotic and just fall in line, brings us back to an ugly time in America. Just shut up and play ball. I have heard that mindset before and it has ugly undertones to it.

  15. kfiz14 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    One less criminal on the streets.

    • mikeewright7 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Ignorance gets you nowhere

      • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

        Don’t feed the troll.

    • gmsingh - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      Because Zimmerman is in hiding for his life, you mean?

  16. adzs93 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I understand America being the land of the free etc etc, but all these gun laws seem crazy to a person looking from the outside in…When is there ever a responsible need to be able to carry a gun unless your a police officer or a member of the armed forces? Civilians shouldn’t have legal access to any weapons, let alone one that has been used by humans to kill hundreds of millions of their own species for centuries, because lets face it thats what guns are for: Killing…Just a sad case man…..

    • adzs93 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      Oh and props to the heat for this gesture not often do I have any positive feelings towards them (Y)

    • pat940 - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      Make guns illegal and only the bad guys would have them. Plus, its in our constitution.

  17. bdeviled11 - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this reeks of one thing: Slacktivism.They have posed for a photo, that actually was credited to someone…What’s the story, the issue or who organized the photo?

    • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

      …. what are you talking about?

      They decided they wanted to pose for a photo to show their support for Trayvon Martin and tweeted it themselves. Simple.

      • bdeviled11 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM

        Watch Sportscenter, and ask yourself what the story is.

      • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        ….. what are you talking about?

      • bdeviled11 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        Here I’ll help. I wonder how Shane Battier, or Norris Cole feel about this? Oh yeah…never mind. Great picture guys.

      • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        I’m really not trying to be a pain in the ass here, but I still don’t understand what it is that you’re trying to argue. You’re not being very clear about what your position is

        Are you saying that Heat players like Battier and Cole don’t actually have an opinion on it, and are just piggybacking on the opportunity to be in the photo?

        FYI, the team didn’t just release a photo. They released an actual team statement in support of Martin. Players including Wade, Haslem, LeBron, and Battier did interviews with reporters further expressing their support. Several players wore messages on their shoes tonight VS the pistons in support of him.

        What more do you want?

    • rhetoric1 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM

      My God, your stupid level is off the charts. Stop sitting on your face and talking out of your ass before even going a little in-depth to understand what’s going on. Yes, there are two people missing—Shane Battier and Mike Miller (who did NOT travel on the trip because of a sprained ankle). Battier had gone to lunch with his in-laws who are from Michigan before the picture was taken. Since he missed the picture, he released a statement citing full support for the cause which can be found in MULTIPLE news media outlets of which you obviously read none.

  18. pnoy88 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Just to show who is the true leader of the team
    Dwane is the lone ranger, whos the tonto?

    • david8726 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      Are you serious? You’re even going to twist THIS, of all things, into an opportunity to bash LeBron?

      Unbelievable.

      • gmsingh - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        Well, the article says “Wade, Heat could no longer keep silent on Trayvon Martin”–what is it you are claiming that they actually said?

  19. thatguywhoisactuallyamiamisportsfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Damn, Mike Miller missed the road trip and didn’t get into the pic. As a Heat fan, I definitely think it’d definitely be good to have the only one white dude on your team in the picture when you make such a HUGE statement. But definitely good that they brought awareness to the situation.

  20. 700levelvet - Mar 24, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    There are a ton of turds in professional sports, who by god given ability earn a huge paycheck to play a game, and i really have no use for their stance on any political, or social issue, as i can decipher what is right or wrong in my own mind. But i don’t consdier D-Wade a turd, and as a father as well, i applaud him if he helps bring light to an obvious tragedy, that really should have never happened…

  21. losangelasbasketball - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    They are missing a few players in that picture(only 13)… maybe bosh was running late because he forgot to apply mascara for the team photo….

  22. whags334 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    What a tragedy but tragedies happen every day. Every day hundreds of innocent victims black, white, yellow, green… are gunned down in Miami. Where are these athletes outrage in those incidents, the hypocritical nature of this photo shoot is sad. I guess they have more info then I do about what took place that night. Maybe they should get out into the community on a regular basis and help fight for all the victims, not just the ones that are trending on twitter.

    • whags334 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      No one has brought up the scenario that what if this wasn’t Trayvon. What if it was a violent felon that Zimmerman was following and he let him go like the police advised him. Then the violent felon breaks into an apartment and murders a mother and her children. People would be up arms because Zimmerman and the Police did all they could to prevent the murders.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        But it wasn’t a felon, it was an unarmed kid. Which is why you don’t shoot first and ask questions later.

      • southbeachtalent - Mar 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        whags334, By that logic we should all be shot. You never know who will commit the next crime.. Shoot’em all?

  23. gmsingh - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    If LeBron would shoot first and ask questions later he might be better at closing out games.

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