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After a minute of silence before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night the Miami Heat urged fans to contact their state senators and “go to the ballot box” to lobby for gun law reform in the wake of the Texas shooting.
“The Heat organization, the Boston Celtics and the NBA family also mourn those who lost their lives in the senseless shooting that took place in yesterday Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends and the whole of Robb Primary School and the Uvalde community,” said the FTX Arena PA spokesman.
“We hope that the family, friends, co-workers and loved ones of all those affected by this tragedy will find the comfort and strength they need to move on to honor those whose lives have been lost.”
As Both teams stood still on the pitch Heads bowed, fans erupted in cheers after the announcement continued to urge them to turn to lawmakers.
TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: LEBRON JAMES, NBA COACH STEVE KERR, SPORTS COMMUNITY CALL FOR CHANGE WITHIN TRAGEDY
“The Heat urges you to contact your state senators at 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding your support for sane gun laws. You can also make a difference at the ballot box vote to be heard this fall.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to social media after the game to call out the NBA for what he said while “politicizing a terrible tragedy in America.” Silence about human rights violations in China.
“The NBA doesn’t like to talk about the billions they’re making from a China that enslaves Uyghur Muslims and harvests their organs,” his tweet read, “but they have no problem politicizing a terrible tragedy in America.”
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The firestorm around The NBA’s relationship with China began when then Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters. The tweet sparked controversy to kick off the 2019-20 season, which saw China run ads showing preseason NBA games in the country. Tencent, the NBA’s digital media partner in China since 2009, also temporarily stopped broadcasting NBA games.
In July 2020, the league found itself in the midst of another controversy over its relationship with a basketball academy in Xinjiang, China. The camp has been criticized for its proximity to camps where the Chinese government has been holding around a million Uyghur Muslims. Prisoners there said they were brainwashed and tortured.
“Since [the] NBA [and] Miami Heat is so committed to social justice and has pledged to ‘tell the truth,’ when can we expect you to condemn the genocide of Uyghur Muslims being committed by your business partners in China,” Rubio said in one subsequent tweet.
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So did Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr prompted lawmakers on Tuesday in an impassioned speech before Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, urging politicians to “do something.”
“I am tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering my condolences to the devastated families out there. I’m so tired of the, sorry, I’m sorry, I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough! “
At least 19 students and two teachers were shot dead Tuesday morning when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Officials said the suspect was shot dead on the spot.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.