Bleacher Report broke this story on Dwyane Wade’s apparent disrespect for the Canadian national anthem before the Miami Heat’s Game 3 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Mr. Wade was continuing to shoot buckets during most of the opening verse of “O Canada.” Quoting the article:
Wade explained on Sunday how he didn’t mean it as a slight to Canada, saying, per the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds, “If anyone thinks I was being disrespectful, they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.”
The 34-year-old veteran added, per the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser, “I understand whatever’s said about it, but I’m not a disrespectful person.”
Reynolds went on to explain how part of Wade’s pregame ritual includes making his last shot before lining up for the national anthem. He kept failing to convert that aspect of his routine, which explained the ongoing quest for a bucket before “O Canada.”
I don’t care what level of basketball you are playing or how much you are getting paid. If the event is of enough importance that a national anthem–whether your country’s or that of your opponents–is being performed before the game, the proper thing to do is be respectful and stop whatever you are doing. Respect is the most important part of any pregame ritual.
Mr. Wade’s comments only aggravate the situation. His words speak the exact opposite of his actions. And honestly, his words ring rather hollow. The video of Mr. Wade shooting baskets during the opening verse of “O Canada” will certainly make its way around much faster than any lame excuses he can offer up for his disrespectful and egomaniacal actions.
According to Wikipedia, Mr. Wade is getting paid $20 million this year. Perhaps a large fine will get his attention that shooting extra hoops during a national anthem is something you Just Don’t Do. Shame on you, Mr. Wade.