On Saturday, March 24, the student-led March for Our Lives will be held in Washington, D.C. to protest gun violence. To help bolster their efforts to be heard, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has donated $200,000. Wade, like many other professional athletes, is putting his money where his mouth is to support grassroots efforts for change.
On Monday morning, Wade told CNN’s Dave Briggs of New Day that he couldn’t begin to imagine what the families of these school shooting victims must be feeling. As a father himself, just the thought of their “heartache and the hurt” is “too much to bear.”
In addition to the demonstration in the nation’s capital, “sibling marches” are being held in cities and towns around the globe. The group has created a website that details specific locations of these local protests. To date, there are a total of 817 events scheduled worldwide on nearly every continent. March for Our Lives seeks to de-politicize school safety and demand that the need for a protected learning environment be made a priority.
Wade’s home is in Florida, so the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 was especially disturbing. One of the 17 people lost in the massacre, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, was a massive fan of the basketball star.
When Wade heard that the family buried the young man in his Miami jersey, he dedicated the remainder of his season to Joaquin and donned his name on his sneakers. He also had custom basketball shoes made and presented them, along with one of his game jerseys, to the young man’s family.
The NBA All-Star has vowed to do everything in his power to support the families and their cause. He sees the tragedy as something much bigger than a local issue. According to the Sun Sentinel, Wade said that “it’s happening to all of us and it could be any one of us.”
The Miami Heat guard also noted that his platform affords him an opportunity to be both a voice and a catalyst for change. He won’t just ride the wave of his celebrity. To whom much is given, much is required. Alluding to the comment that Fox News reporter Laura Ingraham made where she asserted that Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Kevin Durant should just “shut up and dribble,” Wade made a statement of his own.
“I do more than dribble,” Wade said.