*Dwyane Wade has gone and pissed off an entire nation.
Our neighbors to the north are feeling disrespected by the Miami Heat star after he continued his pre-game warmups during the singing of the Canadian national anthem on Saturday, but stood respectfully still for America’s Star Spangled Banner.
It all went down before Miami’s home loss to Toronto in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series. Wade received criticism on social media from Raptors fans and some media members who questioned his decision to take shots while the anthem was played.
On Sunday, Wade tried to explain that taking additional shots is part of his normal pregame routine immediately before and after the anthem is played, and he typically starts with about 12 minutes left on the countdown clock. But because the anthems of both countries were played in succession, the timing of Wade’s routine was thrown off.
“Everything started a little later than it did when we were in Canada [for Games 1 and 2]. It started at 12:30 on the clock,” said Wade, after the Heat’s practice session at AmericanAirlines Arena. “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 pregame routine for the next game.”
The NBA rule book states that, “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”
NBA spokesman Tim Frank, responding to a question from ESPN of whether Wade would face punishment for shooting through the singing of “O Canada,” said the league talked to the Heat about the situation. “We spoke to the team, and the Heat will work with its players to make sure no pregame routines interfere with either anthem going forward,” he said.
Mayor of Toronto John Tory and City of Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly were less forgiving:
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 8, 2016
— Norm Kelly (@norm) May 8, 2016
Wade, who scored a game-high 38 points in Saturday’s 95-91 loss, which gave Toronto a 2-1 series lead, told reporters, “I’m not a disrespectful person. So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful towards a country, then they have no idea of who Dwyane Wade is.”