Former NBA star Dwyane Wade melted hearts earlier this year when he proudly supported his gay son, Zion, who was attending Miami Pride. Although Dwyane couldn’t be there in person, he sent lots of heartfelt messages to his son, including one that read: “Wish I was there to see you smile kid!”
And now speaking to Variety, the basketball player has explained that he saw it as his “job as a father” to support his son.
“I think as a family, we should support each other,” he said. “That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do.”
And speaking about how other parents can support their children during Pride Month, he added: “They are all different, and I have to get to know them and where they are. I have to say to most parents, get to know your kids. Don’t put your wants and needs on them.”
Dwyane Wade also spoke of his surprise over both the support and backlash he received for supporting his son.
“I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it,” he said. “I’m doing what every parent has to do.
“Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish. It’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know you can conquer the world. So, go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and just love you.”
The NBA has proven to be an LGBTQ-inclusive sporting organisation in the past. Teams have had rainbow-coloured logos, and the organisation teamed up with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to help LGBTQ businesses work with them.
However, there have been calls for them to become more LGBTQ-inclusive. Last year, Reggie Bullock, whose transgender sister was murdered in 2014, called on the sport to incorporate rainbow-coloured jerseys within his lifetime.
In a tweet, he posted: “In the tweet, he said: “Just woke up out a dream and thought about playing in a [rainbow] colored jersey to incorporate #LGBTQ into sports.”