Former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade accidentally dipped his toes into controversy Wednesday afternoon when he shared a message of support for Nick Cannon, who had been fired earlier in the day from ViacomCBS over his anti-Semitic views.
Wade, the three-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, backed Cannon in a since-deleted tweet that quickly drew criticism across Twitter and other forms of social media. Screenshots of Wade’s message continued to circulate even after he deleted it from his page.
Dwayne Wade deleted this tweet saying he was on the side of Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitic comments. pic.twitter.com/PgaEdnZp2L
— John Gage (@johnrobertgage) July 15, 2020
“We are with you,” Wade wrote with an emoji of a black fist. “Keep leading!”
Cannon was fired Tuesday for anti-Semitic comments made on a recent episode of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast and YouTube show, in which the 39-year-old actor discussed multiple conspiracy theories about Jewish people while interviewing rapper Professor Griff — who was kicked out of the group Public Enemy in 1989 for his own anti-Semitic comments.
After ViacomCBS dropped him, Cannon responded with his own statement Wednesday in which he called out his former employer and demanded both an apology and full ownership of his MTV show “Wild ‘n Out.” Evidently, that’s where the wires got crossed with Wade’s tweet.
As Wade explained in a follow-up tweet, his initial message of support for Cannon was about him getting his show from ViacomCBS rather than backing his anti-Semitic sentiments. His full tweet read: “I want to clarify my now-deleted tweet. I was not supporting or condoning what Nick Cannon specifically said, but I had expressed my support of him owning the content and brand he helped create.”
I want to clarify my now deleted tweet. I was not supporting or condoning what Nick Cannon specifically said, but I had expressed my support of him owning the content and brand he helped create 🙏🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 15, 2020
Fans Not Quick to Forgive Wade’s Misinterpreted Tweet
Wade clarifying his remarks was enough to quell some of the outrage, but not everyone was satisfied with a “whoops” when it came to his perceived support for an anti-Semitic take.
Why not specify in the first place? You left so much room for ambiguity. Why are people so careless and thoughtless when it comes to anti-Semitism? Hoping @DwyaneWade voices actual support for the Jewish people now, because this isn't even a real apology, it's just backtracking. pic.twitter.com/FQbjKxq06c
— Gabrielle (@gfstarr1) July 15, 2020
Some were particularly disappointed in Wade’s failure to recognize how his initial tweet might be misinterpreted, especially in light of recent anti-Semitic takes made by both Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and former NBA player Stephen Jackson.
The Eagles’ Jackson shared a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hilter, which said Jewish people will “blackmail” and “extort” America while also tossing around phrases like “world domination.” Jackson was widely criticized, including by his own organization, and apologized for his actions in addition to taking several steps to better educate himself on the subject.
The situation lingered in the public eye, though, after the other Jackson doubled down on the NFL star’s sentiments and defended him for “speaking the truth.” He later apologized (sort of) for what he described as using the “wrong words.”
— Les Stouder (@LesStouder) July 15, 2020
As it pertains to Wade, though, others were simply more interested in preaching caution for athletes and other celebrities who posted frequently to their massive online followings. More than nine million people follow Wade on Twitter, which is just one reason why his short-lived tweet was able to quickly go viral.