Disclaimer, Dwyane Wade is my favorite player all time. There is some bias in this post, however, it is to highlight an issue especially in our community, as well as praise the fatherhood of a black man.
Dwyane Wade, 3 time NBA champion from Robbins Illinois has been in the news recently. The reason why his bravery in fatherhood defending his son’s sexuality from people who don’t understand his choices for fatherhood. Wade has recently been clapping back on people commenting negativity towards his fatherhood and allowing his son to make choices. One such, his son’s nails. Dwyane Wade’s son is gay, Wade said in his recent appearance on the popular podcast All The Smoke hosted by Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes that his son is the bravest person he knows. The atmosphere that Dwyane Wade creates for his son is infectious. It is a valiant display of real fatherhood. This should be an example and a standard for black fatherhood and parenthood from here on.
Fatherhood is a sensitive topic in the black community. This is because a lot of us growing up in this generation were without our fathers. We can blame it on a plethora of factors. The justice system of America and how it was designed to lock up young black men systematically. This in combination with the infusing of crack-cocaine into our communities. The lack of commitment of black men to women, leaving their kids and baby mommas. The death of so man fathers due to drugs, guns, and drug paraphernalia. Missing fathers in the black community has become a common topic, so common that when we see black fatherhood we envy it. at times it becomes taboo. It is a harsh reality we have succumbed to and it leaves a black hole in our communities that stems from racial, social, and economic oppression in America.
Many youths that grow up without fathers fall victim to cycles of mental health that lead to poor decisions that births the snowball of systemic problems for both black men and women. Lack of a father to teach children certain character traits and means to navigate systems plays a pivotal role in the deconstruction of our communities.
Me personally, I haven’t had my father in my life longer than I have. My father left when I was 7. We haven’t had a good relationship with each other since then. This has a lot to do with poor communication on both sides, and the effects of not having a father for me linger like a stench I can’t get rid of. For years I had to steal elements of other men to shape what a role model looks like. The struggle to define what a father looked like was exhausting. So many of the men in my life were terrible examples of womanizers and none had true futures that produced much. A lot of that is not their fault, we as black men are born into disadvantages where dreams are cliche’s that often don’t come true. So we turn to the streets for salvation. Luckily for me, I had a mother and friends that kept me away from that life.
“I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, what if your son comes home and tell you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act? It ain’t about him, he knows who he is,” Wade said. “Look at yourself. You’re the one who got the issues, you’re the one who’s got the problems.” All The smoke
As far As Dwyane Wade goes, his take on fatherhood is inspiring. The ability to support his son, even against most of his moral codes is admirable. He is everything I strive to be in a father to my kids. During the podcast, Wade mentioned his growth as a father and allowing his kids to embrace who they wish to be as individuals. The display of fatherhood this iconic figure is revealing kills so many birds in one stone. Tackling black fatherhood and homosexuality in the black community. This man continues to wear a cape even after retirement.
Wade had to change who he was as a man in order to accept his son. During the interview, he expressed that he needed to adjust to his son because his son knows who he is. Wade also said in the interview that those that don’t accept the LGBTQ are the weird ones now. A stark contrast to the way social norms work now compared to generations before.
“As a father, @DwyaneWade is an inspiration — using his platform to make the world a safer and better place,” he tweeted. “His unconditional love for Zion will give other parents the courage to love and respect their children for who they truly are.” -USAToday
Recently he has received backlash for his fatherhood style. Many believe that him allowing his second son to openly express his sexuality is problematic. People have called him a variety of different names, denounced his fatherhood style, the whole nine. This utter lack of regard for fatherhood is asinine, to say the least. Dwyane Wade is a great father. This is the same father who during his championship run with the heatless fought for custody of these very kids.
The very thought of that is taboo in our communities. This man fought a grueling custody battle for his children and won. How many black and brown fathers are fighting just to visit their kids on weekends for varying reasons? Now we’re attacking the very father that allows his children to express themselves freely? This is a man who did the unheard of. His bravery and desire to be with his children is immaculate. Yet, people who know D-wade better than himself will choose to question his fatherhood. Simply because of his son his homosexual.
Let’s put this into perspective, Wade’s eldest son, Zaire plays basketball. ( even he defends Zion). Wade moved to Los Angeles in the summer and enrolled his son into Sierra Canyon, one of the more prominent basketball high schools in the country. Why did he do this? A part of it is to support his wife, who lives and works in LA. The other part was for more exposure for his child and to teach him how to play basketball and become more well rounded. His son is currently one of the better players on the team, is getting more recruitment opportunities, and is winning at a high level while improving as a ballplayer. Now is that bad fatherhood?
We have this problem in society, where we consistently believe that something must go a certain way in order for it to work. I myself am a victim of this problem when it comes to certain issues. We express our fears and disbeliefs onto others because it isn’t normal by our standards. Dwyane Wade’s child isn’t our child. It is his, his alone. He’s raising his children to be the best versions of themselves. He isn’t stopping his son from hiding who he is, leaving him to deal with uncertainty and traumas. In my personal opinion, that is great fatherhood.
It is okay to accept other people’s views as their own and not to attack them because they are different.
fatherhood in our own backyards
We must look at this in this lense. Dwyane Wade has a platonic family. A loving wife, and 4 beautiful children ( one is adopted, not that it matters). He is a black father who fought to gain custody of his children and won. On top of that, he allowed his children to be all that they can be in their own realms. This can be accredited to his wife, Gabrielle Union. However, this is an example of fatherhood, black fatherhood from a man we’ve grown to be inspired by. this should be enough. For so many of us, myself included. We don’t have fathers in our lives. this is for varying reasons. He should be an example of what fatherhood means. Not attacked because his son is homosexual.
I want to throw some final disclaimers out there,
first and foremost, I do not know Dwyane Wade personally. I will say that. However, being a fan of his throughout his career and hearing other respectable people speak about him I can make an assumption backed by evidence that he is a great and genuine person. That being said, I’ve heard from sources that this could be a publicity stunt. for someone being in the public eye for so long being out of it causes yearn for attention. I personally don’t believe this. As I said, Wade is a genuine person, the last thing he’d do is exploit his sone and the LGBTQ community for his own gain.
This man is leading an example for fatherhood that I one day hope to follow. If there’s anything we’re getting out of all this, that should be the lesson. Allow your children to decide, and stop being afraid of who they are because of your social norms.
Being a heterosexual man who grew up with a gays cousins and a gay uncle, I learned acceptance at a young age. I cannot speak for everyone, however, I learned some of the most valuable lessons in bravery from these people. It warms my heart for them to be themselves without fear. I wish that upon Dwyane Wade’s son, and I commend him for allowing his son to do so as she pleases. We live in a world where we promote individuality and freedom and in the same breath shun others for being outside of what we believe in. This is the most backward form of society I’ve ever seen. How can we as a people attack others for being other, when none of us are normal? This, along with conversations of homosexuality in the black community are discussions for another day. For now, Let us praise Dwyane Wade for his fatherhood, and Zion for her bravery.
thank you for reading.