Dwyane Wade says family left Florida because they ‘would not be accepted'


Retired Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade said Florida's restrictive laws that target LGBTQ+ people contributed to he and his family moving out of the state.

Wade, who grew up in Chicago and spent 15 seasons with the Heat, said his family moved to California once he left the NBA in 2019. His 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, came out as transgender in 2020.

“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state. A lot of people don’t know that,” Wade told Rachel Nichols on Showtime’s “Headliners.” “I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions.

“I mean, obviously, the taxes are great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there.”  

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state government have gotten into a feud with Disney after the company opposed the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which restricts classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Earlier this month, a state board approved an expansion of “Don’t Say Gay” to include all grades.

The Florida House also passed a bill making it a felony to provide gender-affirming health care to transgender minors.

Wade is the father to four children and the legal guardian for his nephew, Dahveon Morris. The soon-to-be Basketball Hall of Famer lauded the way his father parented and said he tries to pass that on to his family.

“Yes, I had to educate myself and yes, I had to get a better understanding,” Wade said. “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.”

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