LeBron James tweeted a picture on Friday afternoon that showed the two-time league MVP and his Miami Heat teammates clad in hooded sweatshirts, hoods up and eyes down.
The photo, accompanied by the hashtags "#WeAreTrayvonMartin," "#Hoodies," "#Stereotyped" and "#WeWantJustice," followed a mass protest Thursday in which people all over the world donned hooded sweatshirts in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old high school student who was found dead on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a community north of Orlando. Martin was shot and killed. Police found George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, standing over Martin, wounded and armed with a handgun.
Zimmerman told police that he killed Martin in self-defense. Police found no weapons on Martin's body — just an iced tea and a pack of Skittles. Martin was reportedly wearing a hooded sweatshirt, with the hood up, at the time of his shooting. It was raining. Martin was black. Zimmerman is Hispanic.
Martin's death, and the case's subsequent handling by Sanford's police officials, have drawn national headlines and widespread attention. President Barack Obama made his first public comments on the case Friday, offering a highly personal perspective: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
On Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton led a rally demanding that Zimmerman be charged with Martin's death. The same day, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that a special prosecutor would be appointed to helm the state's investigation into the shooting, and Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee decided to "temporarily" step down amid criticism of his department's handling of the case.
Before James tweeted the Heat team photo, James' teammate Dwyane Wade posted a photo of himself in a hoodie on his Facebook page. Wade told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman that he thought the public outcry surrounding the Martin case presented a "great opportunity to use [the photo]," which was "a picture that [I'd] taken before," to show solidarity and "get the people to understand what we're in support of."
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