With the NBA star at his suburban Chicago Bulls game on Thursday night, a throng of strangers cheered and held up “DNP” signs in reference to Dwyane Wade’s dropping 30 points.
Until that moment, Wade had refused to address a Los Angeles Times columnist’s questions about the game’s build-up to a week of presidential politics centered on the Supreme Court nomination process.
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His action prompted a flood of criticism on social media.
The 35-year-old Chicago native came to Chicago to meet the journalist, Paula Froelich, at the Alsip Athletic Club.
As they walked inside, they discussed the politics of the nomination process and Wade’s support for his wife Gabrielle Union, an activist and actress who has taken a personal interest in the nominee.
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Union, who has announced her support for actress Elizabeth Warren, also is supportive of the nominee process. She was among those protesting the recent confirmation hearings and gave the highest grade to Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein.
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“We’re going to give her a thumbs up,” Wade told reporters, according to ESPN. “I think she handled herself in the best way I know how to handle myself with the stuff that we went through.”
But they didn’t address a story Froelich wrote in which the reporter noted Wade “refused to answer my questions about his NBA star wife’s political views.”
Instead, Wade explained to Froelich that his daughter Zaire came out to him as transgender around five years ago.
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“A few years ago my daughter Zaire revealed she was transgender,” Wade told Froelich. “For us this was a normal occurrence. It was not a topic we talked about. You don’t, because you never know what’s going to happen in your life. So I was, like, mom, what’s going on?”
The reporter has received a number of text messages, emails and calls from readers criticizing her about Wade’s response.
Froelich said she has responded to Wade by suggesting her column “inadvertently” conveyed personal information and that “my intention was not to reveal anything about Dwyane Wade personally.”
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“While the story I wrote does not specifically refer to him as his wife’s husband, I do recognize his wife as his wife and do not wish to criticize him in that regard,” Froelich told CNN.
The story does not mention Wade by name, but mentions Union and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Collins earlier this week announced she would oppose Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.