Dwyane Wade Was Surprised He Received Backlash for Supporting His Gay Son

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While the basketball career of Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has ended, his role as a supportive father will continue for the rest of his life.

Back in April, that support elicited some controversy on social media, a reaction that the 16-year veteran of the NBA recently spoke about.

Wade was asked by Variety if he was surprised by the criticism, which came after he and wife Gabrielle Union showed support for his son Zion at Miami Pride:

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“Yes, this is my job as a father, and I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or obviously the negativity that comes with it. I’m doing what every parent should do.

“Once you bring kids into this world, you have to become unselfish. You’re not important anymore. Your kids become the most important thing, your family becomes the most important thing. So I’m doing what I feel is right for my family, and like I said, that’s to support my kids and the same way, like I said. If it’s a sport, if it’s when they come home with great grades, it’s to big them up, let them know they can do anything in this world.

“You gotta understand, I’m from the inner city of Chicago and I wasn’t told that, I wasn’t told I could be anybody and do anything and I wasn’t always shown that. So it’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives and let them know you can conquer the world and you have the support of your father. You have the support of your family every step of the way. So go be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and love you and support you along the way.”

Wade has been prominent for years in publicly showing love for his children, which has resulted in many people offering those accolades that he spoke about. The fact that his support extended to an annual event that remains connected to a controversial social issue was undoubtedly the basis for the backlash he and his family endured.

However, the reality of the two sides of this story offer a window into each mindset. Wade is proud to publicly represent his son, regardless of any criticisms that may be directed his way. In contrast, those critics remain hidden in anonymity, lacking the courage to make such remarks to Wade or his family and then deal with the consequences.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.