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Slain teen Trayvon Martin’s dad thanks Heat for photo 03.26.12 at 1:31 pm ET
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Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin — the unarmed 17-year-old whose death has become a widely discussed national issue — said that he and his family have been moved from professional athletes speaking out about the case and doing tributes in his son’s honor.

In particular, Martin thanked members of the Heat for a photograph that the team took with 13 of the Heat’s players donning black hooded sweatshirts with their heads bowed. Trayvon Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman saw Martin and deemed him as suspicious and worthy of pursuit. The two fought before Zimmerman shot the teen. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and has not been arrested.

“I saw a post that [Dwyane Wade] had saying, ‘I am Trayvon Martin,’ ” Tracy Martin told The Associated Press. “To see all these athletes put Trayvon in the same sentence with them, it feels real good. Trayvon was an excellent athlete, and if he could hear them saying his name, he would be so moved by it.”

Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire of the Knicks also made similar gestures in Trayvon Martin’s honor.

A large rally will be held in Sanford, Fla., the site of the killing, on Monday and several prominent sports figures are expected to attend, including former NBA star Patrick Ewing and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, George Zimmerman