Miami Heat urge fans at playoff game to demand gun reform

Published: May 26, 2022 6:33 AM EDT
Players and fans at Miami's FTX Arena observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting before the playoff matchup between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Credit: CBS

The Miami Heat preceded their Wednesday night playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics with a moment of silence and a call to action in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.

“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,” said the public address announcer at Miami’s FTX Arena. “Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community.”

After the moment of silence, the announcer urged people to contact their state’s senators “to leave a message demanding their support for common-sense gun laws.” He also encouraged fans to register to vote ahead of the fall elections.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted a response in which he accused the NBA of ignoring human rights abuses in China while “politicizing a horrific tragedy in America.”

The Celtics won Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference series 93-80, giving them a 3-2 series lead.

On Tuesday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr gave an impassioned plea for gun reform hours after the Uvalde shooting.

“When are we going to do something? I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” said a visibly frustrated Kerr.

Kerr also condemned U.S. senators for holding Americans “hostage” and refusing to vote on a bill passed by the House two years ago that would enforce stricter background checks, despite polls showing majority support for it.

The Uvalde gunman, identified as an 18-year-old from the area, was killed by law enforcement, police said, with officials adding on Wednesday that he legally bought the weapon used in the massacre.