Miami Heat condemn racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville with strong statement

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On Saturday, a 21-year-old man shot and killed three Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Fla., before turning the gun on himself and ending his life.

“This shooting was racially motivated and he hated Black people,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said. Waters described the shooter as a white male in his 20s.

The Miami Heat organization released a statement about the racist, deadly incident that occurred in Jacksonville.

The Heat are fresh off one of their best seasons ever, as they made it all the way to the 2023 NBA Finals. But during the 2022-23 regular season, it didn’t seem like the Heat were a good enough team to reach the championship series.

Miami had a very mediocre 2022-23 regular season. The Heat finished with a 44-38 record, the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference and actually lost their first play-in tournament game against Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and the Atlanta Hawks.

But Miami won its second play-in game against the Chicago Bulls to qualify for the playoffs, and the Heat rode the momentum from that win during the first three rounds of the playoffs.

The Heat’s first-round series was against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who finished the 2022-23 regular season with the league’s best record. Star wing Jimmy Butler had the series of his life against Milwaukee, as he averaged 37.6 points per game on 59.7 percent shooting from the field. Miami went on to win the first-round series in five games.

The Heat then faced off against Julius Randle and the New York Knicks. The Knicks gave the Heat more of a run for their money than the Bucks, but Miami still ended up winning the series in six games.

It was in the Eastern Conference Finals where the Heat faced their biggest challenge of the first three rounds, however. Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics rallied all the way back from a 3-0 deficit to force a Game 7. The Celtics laid an egg on their own home floor in Game 7, though, as the Heat won by 19 points.

It’s a classy move by the Heat organization to make a post on the Jacksonville incident, and here’s to hoping that the public outcry will ensure that racially motivated incidents like this one won’t happen as frequently.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.