On Friday, the Wizards hosted families of selected students and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a suburb of the Miami area. The students and their families stopped by before participating in the “March For Our Lives” last Saturday.
Several Stoneman Douglas students began planning the march days after their school was the site of a mass shooting on February 14 that killed 17 students and teachers while injuring 14 more. It is impressive that high school students from a northern Miami suburb built the groundwork for a cause they and many Americans believe in. Jen Kirby of Vox.com has an explainer on it below.
There were over 800 “sibling marches” throughout the United States and worldwide, all student-run. In fact, every state had such a march as well as cities throughout the world, especially within Europe.
In a video from WRC-TV’s Chris Miles which you can see above, Bradley Beal was touched by the students’ resolve to take action and was impressed. He explained that “sometimes, we have to learn from the youth to learn how to do things.” Beal also explained that he was happy that the Wizards were able to give some “positive vibes” to the students.
Finally, here are some pictures that the Wizards released before the weekend:
Honored to have students and teachers from Stoneman Douglas High School visiting practice today! pic.twitter.com/ESERszDQzQ— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 23, 2018
Even on Saturday as the march was going on, Kelly Oubre was impressed with the students’ maturity. Here is what he told Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:
“They’re doing something today that I’m not. I’m here at work, I’m in the gym, and they’re walking and marching for gun violence,” Oubre said. “I just tip my hats off to them and pray for them that they find peace in their minds.”
“I hugged all the girls, shook all the dudes’ hands and showed real love,” Oubre recalled. “They’re all bright lights. All these kids, you see smiles on their faces, man, and it’s just beautiful to see because they’ve went through something that nobody can really speak on. The things that they’ve seen, and for them to be able to come to D.C. and spread a message that’s for the greater good for their community and the world and America — it’s a blessing to even be in their presence.”
I am very happy to see that the Wizards took time out on what was a busy Friday. They had a game against the Nuggets later that night which they lost. And it was also the same night when Phil Chenier saw his number officially retired.
But like Beal and Oubre said, sometimes there are bigger issues out there in society. It’s also a good thing for the Wizards to do their part to help make the students feel better since they are just one month removed from that incident.