MIAMI (AP) — All-Star guard Dwayne Wade said Saturday that he intends to try to find ways to stop racial violence, and that he has friends who are willing to commit to the cause.
“I think this is a worldly thing. This is not just an African-American thing,” said Wade, who will be signing soon with the Chicago Bulls. “We all believe in one common goal, to stop the violence.”
Two of Wade’s closest friends – Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James – have spoken out on social media in recent days in response to two recent shootings of black men by police officers. Then Thursday in Dallas, five police officers were killed and seven others wounded; one of the suspects allegedly said he was targeting white officers.
Anthony’s message included the words: “There’s NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore.”
Wade said he loved seeing Anthony say that.
“As an athlete and as a person who has this platform, we like to sell things, we like to be on commercials, we like to do all these things,” Wade said. “But when things come up in life I think you have a responsibility as a face of this world, if you believe in something to get behind that.”
This will not be the first time Wade tackles a polarizing issue. When unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated Central Florida community in 2012, Wade and James – then members of the Heat – arranged a team photo with all players in hoodies, just as Martin wore on the night he was killed.
“It’s awful. It’s always been awful,” Wade said. “Now because of all these cameras and social media, we’re able to see it more. We have to do better. It’s going to take certain people to lend their voice, lend their time to do that. I’m happy to say that I have friends that are willing to do that. We’ll all get together to see what we can do and we can go from there.”
Wade’s foundation also plans on trying to develop safe-havens for kids in Chicago, his hometown and a place that has long been dealing with a gun-violence epidemic. Wade had a nephew injured by gunfire in Chicago in 2012.