The Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers first round NBA playoff matchup features some of the most dynamic talent in the NBA. But there are reminders right on the team’s jerseys that there is more to life than what happens on the basketball court. The Miami Heat jerseys feature black patches with the initials MSD. The MSD stands for Marjorie Stoneman Douglas — that’s the name of the high school in Parkland, FL, where a school shooter killed 17 people in February. With the MSD patches, the Heat organization and players are showing support for the families of the victims and for the deceased.
The Parkland shooting has inspired a national discussion about gun control and school safety in a way other mass school shooting weren’t able to. One factor making the aftermath of this all-too-common incident different is that this time the discussion is being led by the students who survived, and by students like them all over the country. The students in Parkland have an affinity with the Heat, the local franchise, and Heat star Dwyane Wade especially has lent vocal support to their efforts to influence the national discussion on guns. A week after the shooting, Wade said:
“So when [the Parkland students] say we need to change something, we definitely need to. We need to figure out a way.”
The MSD remembrance on the Heat jerseys is a start. It’s a way of keeping the tragedy in mind and not letting it get flushed away by the swift-moving news cycle. MSD stands for Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. The Miami Heat want people to remember what happened there.