|Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire express support for Trayvon Martin's family.(Twitter)|
Dwyane Wade took a stand, the rest of the Miami Heat had his back and now the National Basketball Players Association has issued a strongly worded statement regarding the death of Trayvon Martin, calling for immediate action.
Martin, a Florida teenager, was allegedly shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman. No charges have been filed in the case.
On Friday, the NBPA issued a statement on its website, one that not only expressed support for Martin's but also called for charges to be filed against Zimmerman and for police officials to step down.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) offers its condolences to the family and loved ones of Trayvon Martin in their time of need. The NBPA is saddened and horrified by the tragic murder of Mr. Martin and joins in the chorus of calls from across the nation for the prompt arrest of George Zimmerman.While the NBPA is an organization that generally doesn't seek or receive much press unless it's time to renegotiate the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, this isn't the first time the organization has issued a statement on a hot button issue. In 2011, the NBPA expressed support for workers during a labor disagreement in Wisconsin. In 2010, the union took a similar stand in support of professional basketball players in Greece as they considered a strike.
The reported facts surrounding Mr. Zimmerman's actions indicate a callous disregard for Mr. Martin's young life and necessitate that he stand trial.
The NBPA also calls for the permanent resignation of Sanford Chief of Police Bill Lee and a full review of the Sanford Police Department, for dereliction of duty and racial bias in this matter and others. Their silence in the face of this injustice is reprehensible and they cannot be trusted to safe guard the citizens of the Sanford community equally.
The NBPA seeks to ensure that Trayvon Martin's murder not go unpunished and the elimination of the injustices suffered by the innocent.
Still, given the national attention paid to the case, the scrutiny that is sure to follow and the nature of this statement's demands, this is about as bold a stand as the NBPA is likely to take.
Also on Friday, New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony added his voice to the discussion, posting a photograph of himself wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the words "I am Trayvon Martin!!!!!" on his Twitter account, which has more than 1.8 million followers. Anthony joins Wade, LeBron James and the rest of the Heat in supporting Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was shot and killed.
Anthony's teammate, All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire, followed suit. "I got my hoodie, stand up," he tweeted.