March 24, 2012 by staff
LeBron James, LeBron James and the Miami Heat were thinking about a lot more than basketball Friday. All anyone needed to do was look at their shoes.
James and Dwyane Wade were among several Miami players who took the floor with messages on their sneakers about the death of an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer in a suburb of Orlando, Fla. The Heat made quick work of the Pistons in an 88-73 victory, but the focus afterward was on the team’s decision to speak out.
Miami also posed for a picture earlier in the day wearing team-logo hoodies. Trayvon Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was shot last month.
“As leaders, as role models, we’re happy that we’re able to shed light on a situation that we feel isn’t right,” James said. “That’s why we did that today.”
James had 17 points and 10 assists, and Wade added 24 points for Miami, which won its fourth straight. The game itself was unremarkable, but the Heat attracted attention well before the opening tip.
Martin was killed as he was returning to a gated community, carrying candy and iced tea. A neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, said he acted in self-defense. He has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating.
Protests have popped up nationwide in recent days, and Wade posted a photo of himself wearing a hooded shirt to his Twitter and Facebook pages Friday morning. A couple hours later, James posted another photo — this one of 13 Heat players, all wearing team-logo hoodies, their heads bowed, their hands stuffed into their pockets.
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