Utah Jazz player uses his shoes to speak on school shooting

Parkland, Florida may be more than 2,500 miles away from Salt Lake City, Utah, but the Florida school shooting was close to the mind of NBA player Donovan Mitchell. Or more accurately, his feet.

Mitchell, a guard for the Utah Jazz, wore bright, yellow shoes during his team’s game Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns that both called for a stop to gun violence and asked for prayers. Written in black on the side of one shoe was “End Gun Violence.” On the other shoe was written “Pray for Parkland.”

‘There’s nothing being done’

A native of Connecticut, Mitchell told reporters when he heard about the shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people he thought about the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

“My mom’s a schoolteacher. I was about 15, 20 minutes away during the Sandy Hook shooting. It’s kind of scary,” said Mitchell, a candidate for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. “I’m not saying all shootings make me feel the same way, but especially school shootings, with my mom being a nursery teacher, it’s kind of scary that that could happen at any moment, anywhere.”

Twenty children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012 by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had earlier killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their home.

Mitchell said he was praying for the families of the victims in the Florida shooting and feels the nation needed to do more to stop the violence.

“A lot of people, we talk about it, and there’s a lot of so-called awareness of it, but there’s nothing being done,” he said. “I looked something up, and the same gun that was used in Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and I’m missing more. It’s interesting how it just continues to happen, and the movement doesn’t do much.”