Udonis Haslem SLAMS Ron DeSantis, not down with governor’s ‘s**t’ policies

Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem speaks out against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.


Udonis Haslem SLAMS Ron DeSantis, not down with governor’s ‘s**t’ policies

L-Udonis Haslem, and R- Ron DeSantis

As Udonis Haslem prepares to hang up his jersey after 20 years with the Miami Heat, he is also ready to speak his mind on the social issues that affect his home state of Florida. The veteran forward, who was born and raised in Miami and attended the University of Florida, is not afraid to call out Governor Ron DeSantis for his controversial policies that target diversity and inclusion, as well as minority- and LGBTQ-based books in schools.

Haslem said he is frustrated and angry with what DeSantis is doing, and he wants people to stop assuming that all Floridians are on board with his agenda. He said he is vocal about his opposition at home with his wife and in public with his platform.

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I’m going to ask people out there to stop Florida-shaming us,” he said as the Heat get ready for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. “Everybody ain’t down with what’s going on in Florida. People think that because you live in Florida, like you just down with the [expletive]. We’re not. I’m not down with it. I’m not happy about it.

DeSantis’ bill to cut funding for diversity programs and ban critical race theory from schools is a framework that examines how racism and power structures shape society. The bill also prohibits more than 500 books from being taught in Florida classrooms, including the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman, who expressed her dismay at the censorship.

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Udonis Haslem speaks up for diversity and inclusion

Haslem dons a classic edition Miami Heat jersey—a design throwback to the teams home whites worn during the 1988 89 season. Photography by Alexander Aguiar 1
Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat (Via Adventura Magazine)

Haslem, who has three Black sons, said he wants them to have access to an honest and inclusive education that reflects their history and identity.

It’s very disappointing and I’m the father of three, three Black men,” he said. “Three boys that are coming up and I would love for them to learn in school about what the hell is really going on and what happened. But that’s out of my control. All I can do is get my ass up and vote. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to encourage everybody around me. That’s all I can do.

Haslem, who turns 43 in June, is playing his final season in the NBA. He has won three championships with the Heat and is one of the most respected leaders in the league. He said he is ready to shift his focus from basketball to social issues in his home state, and he hopes people will stop Florida-shaming him and other Floridians who are not down with DeSantis’s policies.

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