MIAMI –The Miami HEAT has released the following statement:
“On Juneteenth, the Miami HEAT made a long-term pledge to help advance the cause of social justice. Part of our pledge was to use our platform to encourage people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Additionally, we joined our counterparts in NBA cities around the country by exploring using AmericanAirlines Arena as a voting site.
For months, we discussed the possibility with local elections officials knowing we could help make the voting process open, accessible, safe and even exciting. After all, our facility has a storied history of attracting and serving our friends and neighbors across Miami-Dade County. We did a walk-through with them and were led to believe we would be receiving an agreement to solidify all that had been discussed and make it official, including a commitment to make the Arena available for the same purpose in future years.
Then today, we were informed that our Arena would not be designated a polling place, in favor of the Frost Science Museum. This decision was made and delivered without further explanation. NBA arenas all over the country, including just up the road in Orlando are getting approved as polling sites with little to no pushback. We were under the impression that approval was imminent.
To say we are disappointed is a huge understatement. The Arena is clearly a better site, with more visibility, more space, and more parking.
But to the extent that forces involved in making this decision think this will quiet our voice on the critical importance of voting, they should know that we will not be deterred.
The Miami HEAT stands with the NBA and NBPA in their efforts surrounding voting. We will continue to make our voices heard and encourage HEAT fans everywhere to vote.”