SACRAMENTO – As students around the country took part in national walk-out day to protest gun violence – many of those protests lasted 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 – the Heat’s Dwyane Wade reiterated his admiration for their activism.
Wade said the students – many of whom he met last week while visiting Stoneman Douglas and putting together a memorial in a Miami warehouse for those who were killed – are not going to let this issue fade.
“That’s one thing we talked about is they’re not letting it go away,” Wade said today after the Heat’s shootaround in preparation for tonight’s game against the Kings. Wade will not play because of a mild hamstring strain.
“They understand and know that how things fade and how many months. … 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.’”
The walkouts took place at hundreds of schools to pressure Congress to listen and ultimately approve gun control legislation. Students also are planning major protests in Washington D.C. and other cities on March 24, called the March For Our Lives.
“It’s great for all the kids to rally around what happened but understanding that it’s in support of all the kids nationwide,” Wade said. “This is obviously led by Parkland 17 but it’s for all kids in all communities and they all are getting it and all are understanding the stronger they are together and they all do things together.
“It’s great to see our youth take a stand and do the things they feel is necessary.”
But Wade added the adults could learn from the students.
“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,” Wade said. “It’s something we should all want to get behind and support and see if all of our voices together matter when it comes to legislation and all these things. I love what they’re doing.”
Wade surprised the students of Stoneman Douglas on March 7 by visiting the school and meeting with students and school officials. He has spent time with the parents of Joaquin Oliver, the 17-year-old student who was killed in the shooting and buried wearing a Wade Heat jersey.
Additionally, Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, donated $200,000 to help students from his home town of Chicago join the March 24 rally.
Wade also helped turn an empty warehouse in the Wynwood district of Miami into a tribute to honor the victims of the shooting. The warehouse will be open again this weekend.