Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, who has thrown his financial and emotional support behind the efforts of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to curb gun violence nationwide in the aftermath of last month’s school shooting that killed 17 and injured 15 others, was happy to see the movement continue with Wednesday’s student walkouts in high schools across the country.
“It’s great to see our youth take a stand and do the things they feel is necessary,” Wade said after the Heat finished its morning shootaround. “It’s great for all the kids to rally around what happened but understanding that it’s in support of all the kids nationwide. This is obviously led by the Parkland 17, but it’s for all kids in all communities. They all are getting it, and all are understanding the stronger they are together and they all do things together.”
Over the weekend, Wade announced he and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, were donating $200,000 to help pay for students from his home town of Chicago to join the gun control rally led by Douglas students March 24 in the nation’s capital. Other NBA stars including Carmelo Anthony of the Oklahoma City Thunder have joined Wade in donating to the cause for kids in their communities to participate as well.
Wade, who visited Douglas last week, a day after playing a road game in Washington, also decided to extend the “Parkland 17” art exhibit, which was on display inside a warehouse in Wynwood for 17 hours during the weekend into this week so more people have the opportunity to pay homage to the victims and to reach out to state representatives in the fight for better gun control.
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Wade said Wednesday’s walkouts are just another sign how unified Douglas’ students are in making sure their voices are heard.
“That’s one thing we talked about is they’re not letting it go away,” Wade said. “They understand and know that how things fade and how many months [it can stay in the news] … like they get it. We talked about all those things, and I was highly impressed with them understanding and knowing that ‘OK, we know that this might fade after a few months so this is what we got planned for when that time it’s supposed to fade.’
“This is all these things these kids are on top of. It’s something that not only they should be on top of but all of us as adults as parents, this has to do with our kids, too. It’s something we should all want to get behind and support and see if all of voices together matter when it comes to legislation and all these things. I love what they’re doing.”