After the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin last month, players around the league decided to stage walkout right in the middle of the NBA postseason. The stoppage of play lasted two days, and part of the negotiations to resume the playoffs put the onus on the owners and the league to enact a plan that would promote social reform.
Following several meetings between the Board of Governors and the players association, the NBA announced a multi-pronged plan that devote funds to social initiatives in poor and minority communities around the country, a media campaign designed to education the public on these causes, and a plan to turn team-owned arenas into voting locations in the coming elections.
For the Miami Heat, however, the latter part of that plan was apparently foiled recently, as Miami-Dade County officials reportedly rejected their bid to use American Airlines Arena as a place citizens could come and cast their votes in November. Clearly unhappy about that outcome, the Heat issued the following statement on Friday.
Heat requested that American Airlines Arena be designated as a polling place this fall.
Miami-Dade County officials declined.
To say the Heat are upset would be an understatement. https://t.co/0sTXrT6Qmr
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) September 4, 2020
In the letter, the organization argues that they were initially led to believe that it was a done deal and that their request was rejected without any further explanation. The Heat have apparently been discussing this possibility well before the Board of Governors implemented it as part of their plan.
Florida is historically a swing state in presidential elections and its set to be so once again in November. LeBron James and other athletes have organized the More Than A Vote initiative that seeks to educate citizens about voting rights and voter suppression tactics and help as many people as possible have their vote counted. But as it stands, those residing in the Miami-Dade area will have to cast their votes elsewhere.