The Miami Heat organization is offering to pay for bias training for local police so that they will have better interactions with the community, especially minorities.
On Thursday (Sep. 3), the Heat and the Miami Police Department made the announcement during a press conference, the Miami Herald reports. “The Heat had some concerns. And ultimately what we want is the same thing: to take care of the city the way we’re supposed to, because it’s our duty,” said Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina. “We’ve made mistakes. What matters is, how do we address those mistakes?”
The training will be conducted by D2C, a firm ran by M. Quentin Williams, an ex-federal agent who teaches classes on public interaction at the FBI headquarters. Back in June, the Heat pledged to put an end to racial inequality and social injustice, according to Michael McCullough, Miami Heat executive vice president.
“This is a very large step in the right direction of healing some of the wounds we’ve seen in this country,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. “We’re going to give them all the tools they need to understand their role and mission.”
The NBA as a whole has been addressing issues of police brutality and systemic racism throughout this season. Several teams recently decided to boycott their playoff games following the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In turn, other teams across multiple leagues began to boycott their games. Players for the New York Mets and Miami Marlins walked off the field during their scheduled Aug. 27 matchup. Players returned to the dugouts and one of the men placed a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt over home plate. It was one of seven baseball games to be postponed due to the Blake shooting.
Check out the statement from the Miami Heat below.