Professional Teams Honor Parkland

Athletes use their platform to speak out

By: Georgia Thoms

Dwayne Wade, a Miami Heat star, donated $200,000 to the GoFundMe account on behalf of Chicago and also dedicated a special art exhibit to the MSD high school victims. The exhibit titled “Parkland 17” honored the lives that were lost, but Wade did not stop there. He visited the high school to give support in their March for Our Lives movement and also dedicated the rest of his season to victim Joaquin Oliver, who was buried in Wade’s Miami Heat jersey, and the NBA star also wrote his name on his shoes during a game to raise awareness.
Wade wasn’t the only player showing support for the school and its students. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell wore shoes with “End Gun Violence” and “Pray for Parkland” written in black on the side during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

The MLB also took action. The spring training teams in the Grapefruit League and Cactus League wore Stoneman Douglas High School hats for the first 2018 game, and signed hats were auctioned with the proceeds going to the Broward Education Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization in Florida that “raises funds to enrich education throughout the district.” Additionally, Stoneman Douglas baseball and softball team players, along with their families, were invited to the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals spring opener, which featured a 17-second moment of silence before the national anthem to honor the victims of the shooting.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Dolphins showed their support by donating $17,500 to the family of Aaron Feis, the assistant high school football coach who selflessly shielded students with his own body in the MSD high school shooting in Florida. In addition, the Dolphins donated $100,000 to the GoFundMe for the other victims in the shooting. As of Friday, March 16, $4 million out of the $4.5 million goal has been reached.
Corey Liuget, defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers and a Miami native, visited Stoneman Douglas High School March 5 and founded a scholarship program to honor Coach Aaron Feis donating a personal $10,000 to kick it off.

The US Women’s National Soccer Team honored the Parkland shooting victim Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old who played for Parkland Travel Soccer, by inviting her high school team and club to the SheBelieves Cup match against England. The match was held in Orlando on March 7. The game had a moment of silence for Alyssa and the other 16 people who died in the Florida shooting. Alyssa’s teammates and family also received customized jerseys with her name and number on the back.

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