Heat to be ‘United in Black’ for NBA playoffs

Fans asked to wear black for playoffs in support of team and social justice causes

The Miami Heat are using their annual theme for the NBA Playoffs as a way to make a statement on social justice.

MIAMI, Fla. – The Miami Heat are set to take on the Indiana Pacers next week for the start of the NBA playoffs. The team has always given fans a theme to feel like they’re part of the action during the postseason.

From “White Hot” to “Red Zone” to “Back in Black” over the years, the theme has centered around a color and supporting a playoff run. This year, the team decided the theme wouldn’t be just about basketball.

The Heat are calling this year’s theme “United in Black” and are asking fans to wear black to cheer on the players and align with the team’s fight for social justice.

The Heat are calling this year’s theme United in Black and are asking fans to wear black to cheer on the players and align with the team’s fight for social justice. (Courtesy Miami Heat) (WPLG)

Players will wear shooting shirts before games with “United in Black” on it, and they’re asking fans to purchase the same shirts to raise money for important local, social justice causes. Proceeds from sales of the shirt will go to Black Girls Code, Health in the Hood and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

The team will also have a “Black Lives Matter” banner in front of the arena throughout the playoff run.

The team’s executive Vice President and chief marketing officer, Michael McCullough, told Local 10 this campaign is a key part of what the organization is all about.

“We thought we had the opportunity here to take the bright lights and the big stage of the playoffs and use it as our platform to continue the conversation around social justice and racial inequality, McCullough explained.

Fans won’t be able to attend games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as all games are being played inside the Orlando bubble, but they’re encouraged to show support for the team by wearing black and knowing that unity means something more.

“Now we’re giving them an opportunity to stay involved and get involved, but now it has a deeper meaning and it has more opportunity to actually effect some change,” McCullough said.

Fans can purchase the “United in Black” shooting shirts at TheMiamiHeatStore.com, and it will also be in stores soon.

For more information on “United in Black,” log on to HEAT.com/BlackLivesMatter.

About the Author:

Will Manso came back home to South Florida when he joined Local 10 in March of 1999. During his time here, Will has kept busy by working in sports, news and he's even dabbled in entertainment. He is now Local 10's sports director and also enjoys the chance to serve as host for special shows on Local 10.