Prior to its home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, the Miami Heat held a pre-game tribute to honor those affected by the school shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
The Heat played a tribute video with photos of the 17 people killed in the shooting and held a moment of silence. Stoneman Douglas student and drama club member Alex Wind sang the national anthem. Players and coaches from both teams held a Stoneman Douglas flag at midcourt. The scoreboard overhead afterward showed the Stoneman Douglas mascot, an eagle, with “#MSDStrong” underneath.
“Tonight we honor the 17 lives that were tragically lost in Parkland,” Dwyane Wade said. “We applaud the fearless students that are fighting for their lives. We also make sure that their voices are heard around gun safety. You are our nation’s inspiration. We salute you and we support you.”
Saturday was the Heat’s first home game since the Feb. 14 shooting. The team is also wearing a patch on its jerseys to honor the victims.
The Heat’s tribute is the latest in a line of moments from South Florida sports teams and sports teams nationwide paying respects to the Parkland high school.
The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals hosted the Douglas High baseball and softball teams at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Friday for the first day of spring training baseball games. All 30 Major League Baseball teams wore Stoneman Douglas caps and shirts during their Spring Training openers, as well.
Florida Panthers goalkeeper Roberto Luongo, a Parkland resident, gave a moving pregame speech on Thursday ahead of the Panthers’ home game against the Washington Capitals — the team’s first game back at the BB&T Center since the shooting. The Panther rallied for a 3-2 win, scoring its final two goals in the closing two minutes. The Panthers are also wearing “MSD” patches on the right elbow of their jerseys and eagle helmet decals.
The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team wore gray t-shirts during pre-game warm-ups against Syracuse on Saturday that read “Praying For Stoneman Douglas #MSDSTRONG.” After the game, coach Jim Larrañaga said that the coaching staff was “crying over what happened” and that the team “needed to send a message to Parkland and those families. We’re all impacted.”