NEW ORLEANS — In Friday’s road game against the Pelicans, the Heat will debut their uniform patch to honor the victims of last week’s tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.
The black patch, which will be worn by the Heat for the remainder of the season, reads “MSD” and will be on the shoulder area of the jersey. The Heat coaching staff and broadcast team will also wear pins with “Stoneman Douglas” and the school’s Eagle logo on them during Friday’s game against the Pelicans.
In addition, the Heat will hold a moment of silence before Saturday’s home game against the Grizzlies to honor the victims.
“It’s an absolute honor for us to wear these patches and players will be wearing them on their jerseys as well,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I know I speak for everybody in that locker room and everybody in the organization, we are so very inspired by the leadership and courage and absolute fearlessness of the kids and young men and women at Stoneman Douglas. It’s such a tragic event, but we hear their voices, loud and clear. And we are behind them and this is only the start.”
The Heat aren’t the only professional sports team in South Florida honoring the victims of last week’s school shooting. The Florida Panthers are wearing helmet decals and uniform patches to pay tribute, and the Miami Marlins — along with every other Major League Baseball team — are wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hats at spring training games this week.
The Marlins also wore “MSD Strong” T-shirts and hosted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High baseball and softball teams during Friday’s exhibition season opener against the Cardinals in Jupiter.
“It means a lot,” Heat guard Wayne Ellington said about sporting the Heat’s “MSD” uniform patch. “Not only for the community and what’s going on out here in this world, but for us as an organization, for us as players. For us to be able to wear that badge, show support and just let them know we’ve got their backs and we’re here for them, whatever we can do to help.
“It’s just so unfortunate and ridiculous what happened. Me, myself, I want to do everything I can to help and I’m sure my teammates feel the same way. Wearing that patch is the least we can do.”