Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/8/14

The Trayvon Martin tragedy has become a prominent national news story, and the Miami Heat expressed their solidarity for the slain teenager by taking the above photo with their hoods up and heads bowed, which LeBron James shared Friday on Twitter.

Martin, a 17-year-old Miami native, was gunned down in February in an Orlando suburb by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a member of the neighborhood watch for the gated community where Martin’s father’s girlfriend lived. Martin was walking back to the house from the convenience store with his hood up when Zimmerman spotted him and alerted 911, saying the teenager looked “suspicious.” Soon after the 911 call, Martin was dead with a fatal shot to the chest, which Zimmerman admitted to police being responsible for. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and has yet to be brought on any charges. The case has sparked national debate on racial profiling, Florida’s self-defense laws and the whether police responded appropriately while many have been calling for justice.

The Heat’s photo is perhaps the first stance professional athletes have publicly taken on the subject. LeBron’s tweet also included the hashtags #WeAreTrayvonMartin and #WeWantJustice. Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony have also since tweeted their support for Martin and his family.

The Heat, especially LeBron, falls under constant criticism by fans and is one of the most scrutinized in teams in the league, but this is a noble gesture by the team. It’s hard to knock them for this.

Photo via LeBron James’ Twitter

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