SACRAMENTO, Calif. — If the goal from the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and those around the country is to inspire in the wake of the Feb. 14 Parkland shootings, then Dwyane Wade said the effort is resonating.
A week after meeting with students at Stoneman Douglas in the wake of the shooting that left 17 dead, Wade said he was in awe of Wednesday’s National Walkout Day.
“It’s great for all the kids to rally around what happened, but understanding that it’s in support of all the kids nationwide,” Wade said before sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center due to a lingering hamstring injury. “This is obviously led by Parkland 17, but it’s for all kids in all communities and they all are getting it and all are understanding the stronger they are together — and they all do things together,” he said. “It’s great to see our youth take a stand and do the things they feel is necessary.”
Beyond his surprise visit last Wednesday to Parkland on the first day students returned to classes, Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, have pledged $200,000 for students from his Chicago hometown to attend the March 24 “March For Our Lives” in Washington. He also has extended through this weekend his Wynwood warehouse-district tribute to the 17 slain.
During his return to Chicago last season with the Bulls, Wade made numerous efforts to draw attention to the violence overtaking his hometown. Aware of how difficult it can be to sustain such effort, he said he remains impressed of how the Stoneman Douglas students and those nationally have not backed down in their demands for gun control and greater school safety.
“That’s one thing we talked about, is they’re not letting it go away,” he said. “They understand and know that how things fade and how many months.”
“Like, they get it,” he said. “We talked about all those things and I was highly impressed with them understanding and knowing that, ‘OK, we know that this might fade after a few months, so this is what we’ve got planned for when that time it’s supposed to fade.”
He said the commitment from the students has been moving.
“There is all these things these kids are on top of,” he said. “It’s something that not only they should be on top of, but all of us as adults as parents, this has to do with our kids, too.
“It’s something we should all want to get behind and support and see if all of our voices together matter when it comes to legislation and all these things.”
Wade said he left Parkland last week encouraged about the change that could be achieved. He said Wednesday that hope has only increased.
“I love what they’re doing,” he said.