(The Hill) — NBA legend Dwyane Wade says he and his family moved away from Florida because of the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ laws being passed there, saying his family “would not be accepted” in the state.
During an interview on Showtime’s “Headliners,” Wade explained to host Rachel Nichols that the reason he doesn’t live in Florida anymore is because of the push from state lawmakers to implement anti-LGBTQ laws in the state.
“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” Wade told Nichols during the sit-down interview, which is set to air Thursday.
Wade, a three-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, is the father to 15-year-old Zaya Wade, who came out as transgender in 2020.
“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,” Wade told Nichols.
Wade also told Nichols that he tries to follow his father in his own parenting philosophy, saying that he’s just “a mirror image of the way he loved us and the way that he accepted not only myself and my brothers but other kids in the community that didn’t have father figures.”
“And so I don’t know any difference. And so yes, I had to educate myself and, yes, I had to get a better understanding,” the soon-to-be Hall of Fame guard added. “And yes, I had to lose some friends along the process, but I never wavered on loving my kids and trying to find space to get the chance to understand them.”
Florida state lawmakers and officials, including Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), have pushed a number of anti-LGBTQ policies in recent years. Among these is the Parental Rights in Education law, better known as “Don’t Say Gay,” which banned public school teachers from instructing students in kindergarten through third grade on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Florida Board of Education approved an expansion of the law earlier this month that will extend restrictions on such instruction through high school.
Wade’s comments come as he, along with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union-Wade, called for increased visibility and advocacy to protect the rights and lives of Black transgender people during their President’s Award acceptance speech at the annual NAACP Image Awards earlier this year.
“Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently fail to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable among us,” the couple said during their speech. “Black trans people are being targeted, terrorized and hunted in this country. Everyday. Everywhere.”