Rather than come down on the man he calls “Kob,” Wade simply has a respectful “difference of opinion” with his friend regarding the photo his team, the Miami Heat, took in support of the slain teen in 2012.
The NBA star went into the motivation behind the photo while speaking to Bleacher Report. According to Wade, Martin’s race wasn’t a factor in the team’s decision to pose in hoodies with heads bowed for the picture and posting it online. Part of the reason, Wade said, centered on proximity. Although Martin was killed in Central Florida, the athlete grew up in the Miami area, a fact not easily forgotten.
“It was our backyard, and being in our backyard, being something that a lot of guys on this team—not only growing up in the kind of environment that Trayvon was in—but also having young boys,” Wade told Bleacher Report. “Knowing that he is a big fan of the Miami Heat. That is something that we got behind. As a team. I can’t even say the organization. It was as a team. We got behind it. And it was more so that than the color of his skin.”
Knowing that his team’s unity carried personal weight, Wade went on to explain how many players support causes that are connected to them in some way.
“There’s a lot of causes that go on, that players get behind, and it’s not all black causes,” he said. “You know what I mean? Most of the causes have something to do with something that’s near and dear to you. Like Chris [Bosh] writing on his shoe earlier in the year, because his wife is Venezuelan.”
“It’s the same kind of thing,” he added. “So it’s just a difference of opinion.”
Bosh’s written message of “SOS Venezuela” is a reflection of the same message that has been sprayed and stickered on cars all over South Florida, where the Venezuelan community is concerned about the conditions back home.