Tracy Martin, the father of the unarmed teen who was killed in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26, is now expressing his appreciation over the displays of support and affection athletes have shown to Martin's case and his family.
Trayvon Martin's tragic death occurred following an incident that happened in late February, when neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, had called police to report the hooded figure as suspicious. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea while returning home to his father's fiancee's house in the gated community.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were two of the first sports stars to make a statement about the case, posting comments and photos on Twitter acknowledging the controversial case and taking a stand against what is widely considered to be a racial injustice.
James gathered all the Heat players for a photo honoring the young man's loss on Friday. Each player stood with their head down, covered in a black hooded sweatshirt to pay tribute (see photo here) and James posted the photo to his twitter expressing the united sentiment of "#WeAreTrayvonMartin."
Tracy Martin expressed his gratitude for the widespread support on Monday, in speaking with the Associated Press.
"I saw a post that D-Wade had saying, 'I am Trayvon Martin,'" Martin said. "To see all these athletes put Trayvon in the same sentence with them, it feels real good. Trayvon was an excellent athlete and if he could hear them saying his name, he would be so moved by it."
Several Heat players wrote messages in support of Martin on their sneakers during the team's games against Detroit on Friday and again in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Martin was once again overwhelmed by the affectionate displays by the Heat and other athletes in the memory of his son.
"These athletes are saying, 'It's not about who I am. It's about right and wrong,'" Tracy Martin said. "It's like everybody's taking notice. The Miami Heat came out in their hoodies, and that's just saying, 'We are people, we have hearts, we have feelings, we have emotions.' That’s a warm feeling. The sports world has embraced this big-time."
Supporters of the case are still seeking charges against Zimmerman, in hopes that a trial will bring justice to an unfortunate and unnecessary tragedy.
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