Heat’s Udonis Haslem blasts DeSantis, but says people should stop ‘shaming Florida’ residents

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for policies targeting Black and LGBTQ communities in the state, but said people shouldn’t shame state residents over the policies. of the governor

“I live there and I was born there. It’s not my fault,” Haslem, a longtime Heat statesman who retires as a player at the end of the NBA Finals, told the Boston Globe on Saturday.

“So please stop shaming the people of Florida. We are not happy with what this man [DeSantis] is doing,” Haslem said. “Diversity and inclusion and taking the [books away]. We are not happy with that. I sit at home on the couch with my wife and raise hell.”

Haslem has played with the Heat throughout his long career, serving on championship teams first with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, then with Wade and LeBron James.

He said he is confused about the policies in his state, expressing disappointment at school policies that will affect his three children and criticizing the state for its gun policies.

“You complain about what is taught in school, but we took your gun away [law] where can you buy a [expletive] assault rifle at 18,” the 43-year-old added. “I am confused about what the priorities are. We’re talking about education, and in the midst of all this gun violence that’s going on all over the world, how about we just eliminate gun laws and make it easier for them to get guns? He [expletive] It confuses me, that’s why I’m not a politician.”

“All I can do is get off my ass and vote. That’s what I’m going to do,” Haslem said, the Globe reported. “I will continue to encourage everyone around me. That’s all I can do.”

Haslem is the second current or former Heat player to express dissatisfaction with recent laws and policies of the state Legislature.

NBA legend Dwyane Wade said earlier this year that his family had to move from Florida due to the recent spate of anti-LGBTQ laws being passed, saying his family would “not be accepted” there.

“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” Wade, who is the father of 16-year-old Zaya Wade, who came out as transgender in 2020.

In January, the DeSantis administration rejected an advanced placement African-American studies course, saying the content “significantly lacks educational value.” DeSantis, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign last month, signed into law the Parents’ Rights in Education bill last year, dubbed by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation. sexuality and gender identity for certain grades.

Last month, the NAACP issued a formal travel advisory for Florida, saying the state has become “hostile to Black Americans” under DeSantis’ leadership.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.