May 26, 2022 - Sports

Miami Heat urges fans at playoff game to demand gun reform

The Miami Heat encouraged fans at a playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday to call their state senators and "leave a message demanding their support for common-sense gun laws," after holding a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

What they're saying: "The Heat organization, the Boston Celtics and NBA family also mourn those who lost their lives in the senseless shooting that took place yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas," said the stadium announcer at the FTX Arena.

  • "Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community."
  • "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."

What they're saying: "There's a call to action. 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," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said at a press conference before the game on Wednesday.

  • "Your heart goes out to the whole community, the country in general in the school, but it seems like these things didn't happen and not much of a wake-up call," Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said.
  • In response to reporting that the shooter bought guns immediately when he turned 18, Jayson Tatum said that "just doesn't sound like something that should be, you know, that you should be able to do." Tatum tweeted that he is praying for the families of those who lost their lives.

The other side: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accused the NBA of politicizing the tragedy.

  • "The [NBA] doesn’t like to talk about the billions they make from a China ... but they have no problem politicizing a horrific tragedy in America," he tweeted on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Several sports figures have spoken out after the shooting in Texas, including Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

  • Kerr called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and 49 other senators "pathetic" and holding the country "hostage" by not passing gun control laws to "hold onto power."
Go deeper