Every now and again, you come across a news story that quite simply brightens your day, and reminds you of the good things in the world.
This story about how the just-retired NBA star Dwyane Wade responded to criticism he received for supporting his youngest son at a Pride parade earlier this year is just one of those.
The NBA star, whose 16-year career has just come to an end, shared photographs of his wife, the actress Gabrielle Union, and his 12-year-old son, Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, at a Miami Beach Pride parade in April, reports the Huff Post.
At the time he posted the images to his Instagram account back in April, he wrote:
We support each other with pride!
Other captions included:
It's a family thing.
Zion had his on cheering section today. Wish I was there to see you smile kid!
Unfortunately, however, the posts elicited a range of homophobic attacks as well as online vitriol aimed at the star at the time. However, now, in an interview with Variety magazine, he's addressed the attacks and responded in the most perfect way possible.
Speaking to the magazine, he said:
I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell.
I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do.
Asked if he had a message for parents during Pride Month, he said that it's no different to parenting in any other month of the year:
I’m asked a question about my kids a lot from a sports perspective.
I think people expect you to parent each kids the same. They are all different, and I have to get to know them and where they are. I have to say to most parents, get to know your kids. Don’t put your wants and needs on them.
Finally, addressing the accolades he'd gained from fighting against the homophobic abuse he'd encountered after supporting his son, he said:
This is my job as a father.
I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it.
I’m doing what every parent has to do. Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish. It’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know you can conquer the world. So, go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and just love you.
Dwayne, who is a father to three sons, Zaire, Xavier and Zion, and one daughter, Kaavia, also shared a touching tribute to his son on his birthday in May on his Instagram account.
In the post, he wrote:
Happy 12th Birthday to my mini-me Zion! I’ve asked you over and over not to grow up on me and now look at you. Getting taller. Becoming more and more good looking everyday and teaching all of us along the way. I love the kid that you are and i love the young man that you’re becoming. Iam so thankful that i was chosen to be your father and guide you thru this world. Continue to be brave. Continue to be the smartest person in the room. Continue to be Zion Malachi Wade!