NBA legend Dwyane Wade unconditionally loves and supports his daughter Zaya. Unfortunately, he knows that the rest of the world won’t be so kind to her. Zaya, who is 15-years-old, came out as transgender in 2019. As anti-trans sports bans sweep through Republican controlled states, Wade called them “a joke” and spoke about the real-world consequences of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
According to The Hill, the former Miami Heat guard discussed the issue with CNN’s Poppy Harlow at the Time 100 summit. The conversation came just as Louisiana passed its anti-trans sports legislation, which bans “transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams consistent with their gender at all public and some private elementary and secondary schools and colleges,” per CNN.
“This is our life. We live this, and so when you’re out there making rules, and if you’re not experiencing this and you’re not living this and you’re just out there signing away and making laws, that’s not right,” Wade told Harlow. “Come live a day in my world with my daughter.”
In addition to Louisiana, this year has seen these bigoted bans passed in Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Dakota, with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia enacting bans last year.
“As sad as it is, as blessed as my daughter is to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house, and not just because of gun violence but because of the way that people perceive her in this world,” the NBA on TNT analyst said.
The hate and cruelty that fuels this legislation has frustrated Wade and his family. “We’re losing the human side of us,” he said.
Without specifically saying so, Wade also seemed to address Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” noting that all learning doesn’t happen in school.
“We’re in this world right now where it’s like, hey, we get information, we’re learning information, social media. We can find everything we want to know about life, right? It’s like our kids can go find all those things,” he said. “But then it’s like, hey, don’t talk about this school. Don’t do this in school. Don’t do that.”
He continued: “Why are we not talking about it? Why are we not educating our kids? Why are we not educating ourselves? Instead of trying to, you know, close the book on it. We’re not going to close the book on anyone being gay, bisexual, transgender.”
Dwyane Wade is clearly fed up with people trying to tell his daughter how she should live her life. The sad truth is his comments won’t mean anything to the people writing and passing these laws. However, they might make a difference to another parent struggling to accept their transgender child, meaning he’s making a much bigger impact than these politicians can ever hope for.