Miami Heat News: Heat Announce Juneteenth Will Be Permanent Paid Team Holiday

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The Miami Heat are making a stronger effort when it comes to awareness of African-American concerns by designating the unofficial holiday of Juneteenth as a permanent paid day off for their employees.

Juneteenth will take place on Friday, with the date having gained much greater awareness over the past month in the wake of numerous instances of racial strife. The day is meant to not only recognize the end of slavery in the United States, but to celebrate that fact as well.

The Heat are hoping that their employees will not only learn more about the issues connected to systemic racism but also have conversations with others about the problem itself.

On Friday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. EST, the Heat will also offer a virtual town hall with head coach Erik Spoelstra and all players on the team’s roster.

Prior to this announcement, the Heat have taken significant steps since the May 25 death of George Floyd, with Spoelstra and veteran Udonis Haslem among the most prominent voices heard.

In the midst of the current turmoil, the Heat and 21 other NBA teams are set to begin preparations to resume the 2019-20 NBA season that was abruptly suspended on March 11 due to the coronavirus.

At the time of the suspension of play, the Heat had the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference with a 41-24 record. The Heat are hoping to go deep into this postseason, having not reached the NBA Finals since 2014.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.