MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Retired Heat star Dwyane Wade is firing back at critics who took aim at his 12-year-old son. Wade is making it clear he is comfortable with his son’s sexuality, even if others are not.
“You want to talk about strength and courage, my 12-year-old has way more than I have,” he said.
Wade went on the Showtime podcast “ALL THE SMOKE” hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson to talk openly about his 12-year-old son Zion and the backlash from a recent family photo.
When Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union posted a family picture on Instagram, critics took aim at Zion’s appearance, which included acrylic nails and a crop top.
Wade said he is proud of his son’s gay pride.
“I’ve watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually she’s come into,” he said.
Wade has been taken to task since spring, when his wife posted another photo of her and Zion at this year’s Miami Beach Pride.
Critics questioned the parents for supporting Zion’s decision to be out about his sexual orientation at such a young age.
In a tweet, Wade said, in part:
“I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”
I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo. Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so i get it. But here’s the thing—I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile! ✌🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 30, 2019
On the podcast, Wade said he doesn’t respond to critics because they hurt his feelings. He said he responds because he understands his platform.
“I understand that I’m speaking for a lot of people that don’t have the voice I have,” he said.
There are those who are praising the Heat basketball legend for being a progressive parent, who has learned to accept his son and other kids for who they are.
“For me, it’s all about nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes with my responsibilities. So the only thing I need to do now is get smarter and educate myself,” Wade said.
The Showtime Sports weekly podcast ALL THE SMOKE is available on YouTube and major podcast platforms.
Click here to watch the full episode.