Dwyane Wade on shooting during Canadian anthem: ‘It was no disrespect’
Dwyane Wade came under fire over the weekend when he decided to continue working on his jump shot during the Canadian national anthem rather than stopping to line up with his teammates. After he was ripped apart by fans, politicians and the like, Wade said on Sunday he meant no disrespect.
“I’m not a disrespectful person,” Wade said, per Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press. “So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to a country, then they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.”
Here’s the video of Wade shooting around when “O Canada” was being performed:
Video of D-Wade disrespecting the Canadian national anthem. This is against NBA rules and very classless. pic.twitter.com/CG3b1oI7g2
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) May 8, 2016
The way Wade explained it, he was simply going through the same pregame routine that he always goes through. Apparently the anthem was played on Saturday earlier than it typically is.
“It’s something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I’ve been doing it my whole career,” Wade said. “So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I’m not a disrespectful person.
“It was no disrespect from myself. And if anybody feels like it was, please don’t fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments, because that’s not this guy right here. Find somebody else for that. But we’ll adjust our pre-game routine for the next game.”
As Deadspin noted, several politicians in Canada are not buying Wade’s explanation.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) May 8, 2016
— Norm Kelly (@norm) May 8, 2016
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 8, 2016
Mike Colle, an Ontario provincial parliament member, took it a step further. He wrote a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and demanded that Wade publicly apologize.
“As an elected Member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament in Toronto I am most disturbed by Mr. Dwayne [sic] Wade’s total disrespect for our National Anthem shown prior to last night’s game,” he wrote. “On behalf of many Canadians and my constituents who respect Mr. Wade as an exceptional athlete and who love basketball I ask you as NBA Commissioner to formally seek a public apology from Mr. Wade whom I’m sure regrets his mistake. Thank you for your hoped immediate attention to this urgent matter. I’m certain that similar disrespect for the American Anthem would not be tolerated.”
In 1996, the NBA fined Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for refusing to stand for the U.S. national anthem. However, Abdul-Rauf made it clear that he was intentionally not acknowledging the national anthem. Wade may have been ignorant, but he wasn’t trying to make a statement.
You can expect Wade to be greeted with some pretty loud boos when the Heat return to Toronto for Game 5 against the Raptors later this week. We wouldn’t be surprised if his wife weighs in on the controversy via Twitter, seeing as how that is something she has grown fond of during these playoffs.