Players from both teams wore a new warm-up shirt in their respective team colors with the word “VOTE” written across the front.
The plan is for the warm-up shirts to be worn throughout the remainder of the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers and either the Denver Nuggets or Los Angeles Clippers are expected to wear them, too, once the Western Conference finals kick off on Friday.
The message is one that players, coaches and others in the league have been pushing in recent months following the league-wide walkout after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last month.
The NBA and NBPA announced several specific social justice initiatives following that strike, including allowing NBA arenas or practice facilities to be used as polling places in November. Both Madison Square Garden in New York and The Forum in Southern California will become polling places as part of that initiative. The Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena, however, was rejected by city officials — something that has left them frustrated, as they say they weren’t given an explanation for the decision.
The league has also launched new social media and ad campaigns encouraging people to vote, and has hung new banners in the arenas at Walt Disney World, too.
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