Former NBA player Dwyane Wade claimed recently that his family left Florida over “anti-LGBTQ policies” — particularly those implemented by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis — but that wasn’t what he said when he actually left the state in 2019.
Wade, whose biological son began identifying as transgender in 2020, told Rachel Nichols on “Headliners” that policies like Florida’s HB 1557 were a part of the reason he believed his family would not “feel comfortable” in Florida.
“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” he said, adding, “A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions. I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”
But when Wade first moved from Florida to Los Angeles in 2019, his reasoning was quite a bit simpler: he had retired from the NBA, and his wife — actress Gabrielle Union — had a job in Los Angeles.
“We miss Miami,” Wade told People Magazine in February of 2020, noting that the family had moved from the east coast to the west coast shortly after he had retired from the NBA a year earlier. “Of course, that definitely had become home to us, especially my kids. But my wife works in L.A., my daughters lived in L.A. with my wife, so we’ve got to go. My home is where my family is.”
Wade has also gone through a series of public battles with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, over their shared child’s gender identity. Funches-Wade has claimed that Wade embraced the gender and name change for the money that could come with it — and Wade has denied that.
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“Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame,” Wade said via Instagram. “While I’m on a life-changing trip in our motherland, Africa, I’ve received a social media post about me forcing our 15 year old child to be someone she’s not and to do something against her will. These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children.”
“While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn’s attempt to fight Zaya’s identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I’m very disappointed that she continuously find ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children,” Wade continued.